Down East hangs on for 3-2 win over Hillcats

Lynchburg put the possible tying run in scoring position in each of the final three innings, but the Hillcats finished the game 0-8 with runners in scoring position in a 3-2 defeat against the Down East Wood Ducks Saturday night.

lynchburg hillcatsDown East scored three runs on five hits in the first eight batters of the game and held on the rest of the way for a one-run victory. The Wood Ducks saw Hillcats pitching retire 24 of the final 25 batters they sent to the plate. Tanner Tully retired 21 of the final 22 men he faced and went a career-high eight innings as a result. Unfortunately, he took the loss with three runs on six hits against him. Nearly all of that damage occurred in the first two frames. Justin Garcia struck out one as part of a perfect ninth inning out of the bullpen.

Matt Lipka and Preston Scott began the game with back-to-back doubles to plate the first run. Two batters later, Josh Morgan’s RBI single made it 2-0. Down East tallied another run in the second when Chuck Moorman doubled to bring home Ledarious Clark, who had singled one batter earlier.

Martin Cervenka hit his eighth home run of the year with one out in the second inning to cut the deficit to two, 3-1. In the sixth inning, a two-out error extended the inning for Ka’ai Tom to drive in Sicnarf Loopstok with a bloop single to left. That brought the Hillcats within one, 3-2.

Lynchburg put the possible tying run at second base in the seventh inning on a Claudio Bautista double, but he was stranded there. Andrew Calica tripled with one out in the eighth but failed to score. In the ninth inning, the ‘Cats had two runners on base with only one out, but Adam Choplick retired the next two batters to record his seventh save of the year.

The Hillcats conclude the four-game series with Down East Sunday at 5 p.m. Gates open at City Stadium at 4 p.m., and fans who cannot attend can listen to the game live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com.