Aguilar’s longballs doom Hillcats
The Hillcats dropped the final game of a four-game set against the Mudcats in an early morning matinee. The loss clinched the series for the Mudcats, their second series victory against the Hillcats. It was a pitcher’s duel throughout the day with the sole difference coming off the bat of Jesus Aguilar. He accounted for all three runs on two home runs.
Pitching was the theme of the day at Calvin Fawell Field in the series finale between the Hillcats and the Mudcats. Each pitcher was stellar throughout the day but both were shutting down their opponent in different ways.
Lynchburg’s righty, Cody Martin, found his strikeout pitch early and often. Before allowing his first hit–in the fourth inning–Martin already recorded five strikeouts.
His counterpart, lefty Mike Rayl, allowed his defense to make the plays for him with eight of his first nine outs coming through the position players’ efforts.
In the fourth, each team threatened with a runner in scoring position, but each opportunity was squashed because of double plays.
Martin continued his torrid strikeout pace, reaching a career high eight through six innings. Rayl added three strikeouts of his own and was able to escape a Ryan Query double. The Hillcats also threatened in the bottom of the sixth inning. Matt Lipka earned his first walk of the day and stole second with just one out. However, Rayl was able to buckle down and get Nick Ahmed and Tommy La Stella, who is second in the league in RBI, to fly out weakly to center field.
In the top of the seventh Martin retired the first batter, Anthony Gallas, to reach a career high in innings pitched. The next batter was the hot-hitting Jesus Aguilar. After seeing a few pitches from Martin, Aguilar unloaded on a pitch that froze everyone on the field. The ball hugged the line and went over the left field foul pole for the first run of the game.
The Hillcats offense went silent, Aguilar’s bat wasn’t. Tony Wolters reached base on a fielder’s choice after Tyler Holt singled to start the inning. With two outs, Aguilar made his way to the plate to face LHP Juan Jamie. Aguilar wasn’t no time and took a Jamie fastball deep over the right-center field wall for his second homer of the game and two more RBI to make it 3-0.
Mike Rayl (3-3) worked six scoreless innings and struck out four while walking two to out duel Cody Martin (3-3). Martin went 7.0 innings, giving up three hits, one run–on the the Aguilar blast–walked one and fanned a career high eight batters.
The Lynchburg Hillcats will welcome the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Calvin Falwell Field tomorrow fora three-game set. First pitch is set for 6:05pm; Lynchburg City Stadium will open its gates at 5:00pm. Gus Schlosser (3-0, 4.31) will look to stay perfect on the season against Pelicans righty Roman Mendez (1-3, 6.04). If you can’t make it to the ballpark, you can listen live to all the action on 105.5 FM KD Country and online at lynchburg-hillcats.com starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show coming on the air at 5:40pm with Erik Wilson and Mike Viso.