SALEM, Va. – During batting practice before tonight’s game Alexis Hernandez rehearsed his walk off celebration, a feeling he has always strived to experience. Coincidentally enough, tonight was the night for Hernandez as he ripped a line drive into left field to score Cutter Coffey and win the series opener
SALEM, Va. – During batting practice before tonight’s game Alexis Hernandez rehearsed his walk off celebration, a feeling he has always strived to experience. Coincidentally enough, tonight was the night for Hernandez as he ripped a line drive into left field to score Cutter Coffey and win the series opener over Augusta in extra innings.
The Red Sox started the game strong defensively, sitting the GreenJackets down one, two, three in the first three innings off the back of a solid pitching performance from Gabriel Jackson. He ended up dealing three strikeouts, giving up one run and two hits in four complete innings.
Offensively, Salem started strong as well scoring three runs in the bottom of the second. Jhostynxon Garcia got the party going with a leadoff single into right field and Alexis Hernandez followed it up with a double to put runners on second and third. Luis Ravelo then walked to load the bases and Enderso Lira scored the first run with a sacrifice fly, bringing home Garcia. Yorberto Mejicano did his job as well with a sacrifice fly to score another. “Big Al”, Albert Feliz, ripped an RBI single into left field to score the third run.
Both teams went quiet in the third, before August found themselves on the board in the fourth. Ambioris Tavarez had the first GreenJacket hit with a double and was eventually brought home on a Jace Grady RBI groundout. Drew Compton had a hit in the inning as well.
After a scoreless fifth and sixth inning for both teams, the seventh is where it got crazy. Augusta scored six runs in the top of the seventh to put themselves in control of the game with a 7-3 lead. Nathaneal Cruz struggled after an impressive fifth and sixth. The first three batters he faced in the seventh in Compton, Boucher, and Verdung all had hits with Boucher’s being a double. Verdung’s single scored the first run. Kade Kern followed it up with a walk and Jhonny Felix was put into a bases loaded jam with nobody out. Jacob Godman started quickly with an RBI single on the first pitch he saw. EJ Exposito took the lead with another knock. A balk brought in another run to make it 5-3 in favor of Augusta. Later on in the inning, Jace Grady doubled to score two more and make it 7-3.
Salem was up to the task and battled right back in the home half with four runs of their own to tie the game. Ravelo worked a leadoff walk and Enderso Lira singled. Yorberto Mejicano stayed hot with a two-run double. Mikey Romero worked a very impressive walk and Cutter Coffey lifted a ball down the right field line that was dropped by Jace Grady in right field, scoring two to tie the game at seven.
We saw a stalemate in the eighth and the ninth inning, forcing extra innings for the second time in three games for the Red Sox. An early wild pitch in the top of the tenth gave the extra runner, Cam Magee, third base. Jace Grady walked and Drew Compton secured an RBI groundout to take an 8-7 lead.
In the bottom of the tenth, the Red Sox had their backs against the wall with an opportunity to walk it off in front of their home crowd. Mikey Romero was the extra runner on second and was hit home on an RBI single from Cutter Coffey to tie the game. Jhostynxon Garcia grounded out, advancing Coffey into scoring position on second before Alexis Hernandez laced a ball into left field the Boucher struggled to play, scoring Coffey to win the game.
The two teams battle five more times this week. Wednesday night’s first pitch is at 7:05 PM at Salem Memorial Ballpark.
Location: Salem Memorial Ballpark
First Pitch: 7:04 PM
Time of Game: 2:36