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DASH CLINCH 2018 FIRST-HALF CHAMPIONSHIP AT BB&T BALLPARK

Winston-Salem 8, Wilmington 2

W: Dylan Cease (9-2)
L: Ofreidy Gomez (2-5)
S: None

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (June 14, 2018) – The Winston-Salem Dash clinched a first-half Southern Division championship on Thursday at BB&T Ballpark with an 8-2 win over Wilmington, and a Buies Creek loss to Potomac. The Dash’s first-half title is the organization’s first since 2012, and it guarantees the club a spot in the Carolina League playoffs following the conclusion of the regular season in September.

Wilmington (29-38) scored a run in the first against right-hander Dylan Cease (9-2) to take an early lead, but Winston-Salem (40-27) responded in the bottom of the first against righty Ofreidy Gomez (2-5).

After Alex Call drew a one-out walk, he moved to second on a single from Luis Basabe. Then, Yermin Mercedes walked with two outs to load the bases for Gavin Sheets. He bounced a single just to the right of the second base bag to bring in Call, and Chase Vallot couldn’t handle the throw at first, allowing Basabe to cross the plate as well to give Winston-Salem a 2-1 lead.

The Dash tacked on a run in the bottom of the third inning. After Basabe drew a one-out walk, he stole second base to put himself in scoring position for Mercedes. On a 2-1 pitch, Mercedes grounded Gomez’s offering down the third base line to plate Basabe on an RBI double.

Cease was dominant after allowing a run in the first. He retired 11 of the next 12 batters he faced, needing just 55 pitches to cruise through his first five innings. The right-hander finished his night with five strikeouts over a career-high eight innings, allowing just two runs on five hits to secure his ninth win of the season, which ties him for the league lead in that category.

Winston-Salem provided more run support in the fifth inning. Joel Booker was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and then moved to third on a Micker Adolfo single. Next, Booker sprinted home on a wild pitch to extend the Dash lead. Mercedes broke the game open shortly thereafter with a two-run blast to left field – his fifth home run of the season – to make it 6-1.

The Dash added another run in the sixth when Zach Remillard and Yeyson Yrizarri recorded back-to-back singles to open the frame. After moving to third on a flyout from Mitch Roman, Remillard scored on a groundout from Booker.

The offense wasn’t done. In the seventh, Adolfo blasted a double into the right-center field gap to bring home Call, who led off the frame with a walk. For Adolfo, it marked his team-leading 15th double of the year.

Wilmington brought home a run in the eighth, but nothing more. Vance Vizcaino walked, moved to second on defensive indifference, and scored on a single from D.J. Burt. Cease finished off his eight strong innings by getting Kansas City Royals’ top prospect Khalil Lee to line out to left.

Zach Thompson closed out the game for Winston-Salem. The right-hander fired a perfect ninth inning, striking out the final two batters to shut the door. With the win, the Dash winning streak runs to a season-high seven games.

The celebration had to wait, however, for the conclusion of the game between Buies Creek and Potomac at Pfitzner Stadium. Shortly after the Dash earned their 8-2 victory, Potomac defeated Buies Creek 2-0 to eliminate the Astros from contention and help Winston-Salem clinch.

The Dash’s series against the Blue Rocks continues Friday, when the Dash send right-hander Luis Martinez (3-4, 4.17 ERA) to the mound against Blue Rocks right-hander Gerson Garabito (2-5, 4.35 ERA). Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 p.m., and fans can catch all of the action on wsdash.com/broadcast, MiLB.tv and the TuneIn Radio App.

Friday’s game is a Hometown Heroes USA Night and postgame fireworks on Friday. The rest of the homestand features a Chick-fil-A Four Pack Night on Saturday and a Father’s Day Sunday. Meanwhile, kids can run the bases after each weekend contest, powered by New Balance Winston-Salem. For tickets and more information, call the Dash (336) 714-2287 or visit wsdash.com.

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