WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (April 13, 2017) - Brannon Easterling recorded six shutout innings, and Winston-Salem's offense posted a season-best showing in a 7-1 victory over the Buies Creek Astros in front of 7,081 fans at BB&T Ballpark on Thursday night.
The Dash (2-6) started the scoring in the second as Louis Silverio and Aaron Schnurbusch led off the frame with back-to-back singles before Toby Thomas attempted to lay a bunt down to move the runners over. However, Buies Creek (6-2) hurler Justin Ferrell (1-1) made an errant throw, letting Silverio and Schnurbusch come around to score and Thomas race around to third base. Johan Cruz promptly brought Thomas home on a double to left-center to cap the three-run inning.
Winston-Salem tacked on another in the third on a Zack Collins RBI double that he slashed down the right field line. Cruz provided the big blast of the night in the fourth, launching one to left for a two-run shot to bring in Thomas, who had tripled to lead off the inning. Luis Basabe earned an unorthodox three-bagger when Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker lost the ball in the lights, and Alex Call rolled one down the third base line to score him and finish off the Dash's offensive onslaught.
This offense was plenty for Easterling (1-1), who turned in a masterful six innings of work on just 85 pitches (51 for strikes). The 26-year-old gave up just three hits and one free pass while fanning seven Astros hitters to tie his career-high. The Texas native allowed just one Buies Creek batter to reach second base against him on the evening.
Drew Hasler contributed another solid relief appearance, picking up the save after spinning three innings of one-run ball and striking out five. Hasler's one run surrendered in the final frame was his first career tally given up at BB&T Ballpark (18.2 IP in eight appearances).
With the win, Winston-Salem snapped a four-game losing streak in its home opener. The attendance figure was the second-highest for a home opener in BB&T Ballpark's eight-season history, with the leading mark coming in the facility's first game ever (7,111 on April 13, 2010).
The Dash and Buies Creek will get it going again Friday night at BB&T Ballpark in game two of their four-game series. Right-hander Max Beatty (0-1, 3.00 ERA) will toe the slab for Winston-Salem opposite Astros southpaw Matt Bower (0-0, 10.80 ERA). Friday's game can be heard online at wsdash.com/broadcast and via the TuneIn Radio app.
Come out to BB&T Ballpark early on Friday to get your hands on a 2017 magnet schedule, given out upon entry while supplies last. The magnet schedules are presented by True Value Rental and Southern Event Rental. Be sure to stick around after tomorrow's contest for our first postgame fireworks show, brought to you by BB&T. For tickets, contact the Dash at (336) 714-2287 or visit wsdash.com.