Salem Falls in 12 innings - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Salem Falls in 12 innings

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  Evan Lepler-Salem Red Sox 

               Three consecutive two-out singles in the top of the 12th inning propelled Potomac past Salem 3-2 on Tuesday night at LewisGale Field. With the bases empty, Jason Martinson laced a liner to center to snap Salem's streak of 11 straight Nationals retired. Kevin Keyes followed with a slow tapper up the third base line for an infield hit, and then Cutter Dykstra looped the game-winning knock into shallow right to score Martinson and break the 2-2 tie. Dykstra led Potomac with three hits, driving in two of the Nationals' runs and scoring the other to help his team clinch its first series win of the season.

                Salem never led, but twice retaliated quickly after Potomac's scoring. Both teams plated one run in the first frame, but both starters settled down and did not allow another run. Mickey Pena lasted four plus for Salem, while Robbie Ray went six for Potomac, departing with a 2-1 lead after Adrian Sanchez singled home Dykstra in the top of the sixth. But Ray's hopes for a win were quickly dashed when Jose Garcia scurried across on a Greg Holt wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game at two.

               Both bullpens dazzled from the eighth inning on, with Salem's Nate Striz and Potomac's Matt Grace each dealing three scoreless frames for their respective clubs. The Red Sox did not manage another hit after the seventh, while Potomac saw 11 straight Nationals mowed down before the two-out rally was born in the 12th. In the bottom of the 12th, Richie Mirowski dispatched the bottom third of the Red Sox lineup in order to clinch the win for Potomac.

                Keury De La Cruz joined Garcia as the two Salem batters with multiple hits, both going 2-for-5 for the Sox. But the rest of the Sox managed just one hit, a Blake Swihart triple, as the Nationals outhit Salem 14-5.

                Potomac had baserunners in 10 of the 12 innings, and the fact that the Nats only scored single runs in the first, sixth, and 12th was a tribute to Salem's pitchers' ability to work out of tough jams. But in the end, Potomac's continued pressure combined with Salem's punchless offense to send the Sox home in defeat.

                The two clubs will wrap up the three-game set on Wednesday morning, with the first pitch scheduled for 11 AM. Henry Owens will make his third start for the Sox, while Taylor Jordan will get the ball for the Nats.

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