SALEM, Va. – The Delmarva Shorebirds defeated the Salem Red Sox 9-7 on Sunday afternoon in the regular season finale. The loss prevents Salem from advancing to the Low-A Championship series with Charleston. The Down East Wood Ducks will now face Charleston.
The playoff procedures for Minor League Low-A baseball calls for the top two teams, regardless of division, to play a best-of-5 series. The Salem Red and Down East Wood Ducks entered the day tied for the second spot in the standings, at 71 wins each. Down East defeated league-leading Charleston, 5-2, on Sunday afternoon.
That put the Red Sox in a must-win situation with Delmarva. The two were tied after the first inning until Salem put together a 4-run second inning. Antoni Flores picked up an RBI double, followed by an RBI single by Ceddanne Rafaela. Two more runs would come across to put the Red Sox ahead 5-1 and eventually 6-1 after the fifth inning.
But the Shorebirds responded with a big inning themselves, plating six runs in the top of the sixth inning, taking a 7-6 lead in hopes of spoiling the party. Despite the Red Sox tying it back up at 7, Delmarva hit a dagger in the top of the ninth inning when Billy Cook smashed a 2-run home run to left center field for the go-ahead 9-7 advantage.
The Red Sox had the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning with runners on the corners but
Salem finishes the season at 71-49, first in the Low-A East North Division, third in all of Low-A East.
The Lynchburg Hillcats finished up their 2021 campaign with a 6-2 loss at Fredericksburg. They finish the season with a record of 58-62.
Salem owns the tiebreaker with Down East, based on win percentage over the last 20 games.