By: Evan Rogers
HOLLY SPRINGS N.C. — In a matchup between two of the top three teams in the East Division, the Holly Springs Salamanders (8-5) defeated the Tri-City Chili Peppers (9-5), 7-4, Tuesday night at Ting Stadium.
It didn’t take long for the Salamanders to get on the board first. After holding Tri-City scoreless in the top frame, lead-off man Brett Callahan geared his third homer of the season over the right-field wall.
But the lead was short lived for Holly Springs, as the Chili Peppers’ offense tallied two home runs in the next inning, giving Tri-City a 2-1 lead.
However, the Salamanders answered the Chili Peppers’ offensive burst.
In the bottom of the second inning, a pair of drawn walks juiced the bases for Holly Springs with one out. Moments later, consecutive RBIs by Callahan and left fielder Nick Carriere helped the Salamanders regain the lead, 3-2.
Following four scoreless innings of play, Holly Springs sprang to life.
In the seventh inning, designated hitter Luke Heefner’s sacrifice fly drove home two runs after an error by Tri-City helped Carriere scamper home. The Chili Peppers’ costly error highlighted a four-run inning for the Salamanders and increased Holly Springs’ advantage to 7-2.
Despite a two-run blast by Derek Bender in the ninth inning, the Salamanders would close out the Chili Peppers and win 7-4.
Callahan’s bat again proved vital for the Salamanders, as the sophomore from Saint Joseph’s drove in two runs — including a lead-off shot in the first inning. Moreover, Fran Oschell shinned out of the bullpen, as the right-handed pitcher from Duke struck out consecutive batters in the sixth inning to escape a runner on third base situation.
The Salamanders will hit the road to take on the Wilson Tobs at Fleming Stadium. Thursday’s contest is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.