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 Wilmington Blue Rocks

Pratto's Homer Not Enough in Game Two Loss

September 5, 2019 - Carolina League (CarL1)
Wilmington Blue Rocks News Release

Salem, VA - For the second straight night the Wilmington Blue Rocks could not dig their way out of an early deficit, as the Blue Crew dropped Game Two of the Carolina League Northern Division Championship Series to the Salem Red Sox, 5-2, on Thursday at Haley Toyota Field. Tyler Esplin hit two home runs for the Red Sox, who handed Wilmington a loss that put the Rocks in an 0-2 hole in the best-of-five series.

Salem did its damage with multiple runs in the second and third innings. Esplin got the scoring started with a two-run homer over the right-field fence. The Red Sox followed that up with an RBI-double from Keith Curcio and a run-scoring single by Triston Casas in the third.

The early action all came against Blue Crew starter Jonathan Bowlan. The righty lasted five frames, yielding four runs on nine hits, while fanning three and walking a pair. Bowlan did manage to keep the Rocks in the game. He wiggled his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth.

That allowed Wilmington to cut the deficit in half in the seventh. Dennicher Carrasco opened the frame with a walk and one out later Nick Pratto launched a two-run bomb to right. Pratto has three hits, three RBI and two runs scored in the first two games of the NDCS.

Thad Ward yielded just one run over six-plus frames for the Red Sox. The righty worked around four free passes thanks in large part to seven strikeouts. Ward was far from a one-man show, however, as all three Salem pitchers held the Blue Crew to just two at bats all night with a runner in scoring position.

The Red Sox added an insurance tally in the eighth courtesy of Esplin's second dinger of the evening. The Rocks did manage to bring the potential tying-run to the plate in the ninth, but Andrew Schwaab stranded runners at first and second to pick up the save.

Wilmington looks to stave off a potential sweep in Game Three on Friday at Frawley Stadium. Southpaw Kris Bubic hits the hill for the Blue Crew while Salem will throw righty Andrew Politi. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. and tickets are available at Fans that don't make it to the ballpark can catch all of the action with the Voice of the Blue Rocks, Cory Nidoh, on 89.7 WGLS-FM.

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