The Wilmington Blue Rocks needed a win on Monday to split the series with the Salem Red Sox and the team did just that as the Rocks took home a 5-2 win against the Red Sox at Frawley Stadium.
Rocks starting pitcher Nolan Watson shut down the Red Sox lineup with a solid outing going seven innings, five hits, two runs, two earned runs, one walk, seven strikeouts and earned his third win of the year.
The Rocks offensive standouts in the game were right fielder Nick Heath, shortstop Angelo Castellano and second baseman D.J. Burt.
Heath had one run, one hit, one walk and two RBIs in four at bats in the win.
Castellano had one run and two hits in two at bats in the win.
Burt had one run, two hits and one RBI in four at bats in the win.
Watson Gives Up Two Early Runs
The Rocks struck first on the board in the bottom of the first inning, when right fielder Nick Heath grounded out to score center fielder Blake Perkins which gave the Rocks a 1-0 lead.
The lead did not last long as in the top of the second inning, Salem answered back with center fielder Chris Madera hitting into a sacrifice fly to score third baseman Bobby Dalbec which evened the score at one run.
Then in the top of third inning, Salem continue to score with the sac fly. As Red Sox shortstop C.J. Chatham hit into a sac fly to score right fielder Tyler Hill which gave the team a 2-1 lead over the Rocks.
This would be the last runs that Rocks starting pitcher Nolan Watson would give up for the game.
Rocks Offense Comes Alive In Late Innings
The Rocks had some luck in the sixth inning to get some runs on the board by Red Sox’s starting pitcher Jake Thompson throwing a wild pitch which scored left fielder Vance Vizcaino to even the score up at two.
The Rocks offense also did some work scoring runs as well with Heath hitting a single to score Castellano to give the Rocks a 3-2 lead.
After the seventh inning, Rocks Watson would exit the game with seven innings pitched , five hits, two runs, two earned runs, one walk, seven strikeouts and earned his third win of the year.
Anthony Bender relieved Watson for the Rocks in the eighth and he went one inning, one hit and earned his first hold of the year.
Then in the bottom of the eighth, Wilmington’s offense scored some needed insurance runs.
The first run in the inning was batted in by second baseman D.J. Burt who hit a single to score Heath which increased Rocks lead to 4-2.
The last run of the inning came from DH Gabriel Cancel who doubled to left field which scored Burt and increased Rocks lead to 5-2.
In the ninth inning, it was all up to closer Tyler Zuber to close this win out for the Rocks and he did just that by going one inning, one walk and earning his third save of the year.
Rocks start a new series on the road with the Lynchburg Hillcats on Wednesday. First pitch is 6:35 pm ET.