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Loopstok home run highlights 9-5 Hillcats win

For the third straight game, a five-run inning served as the catalyst for a Hillcats victory. This time, Sicnarf Loopstok’s three-run homer highlighted a five-run third to propel Lynchburg to a 9-5 win against Winston-Salem at BB&T Ballpark Thursday night.

lynchburg hillcatsAfter neither team scored in the first two frames, Daniel Salters opened the third with a walk. Willi Castro singled, and Ka’ai Tom drove in Salters with a base hit. With one out, Loopstok drilled a line drive over the left field fence to give Lynchburg a 4-0 lead. Andrew Calica doubled with two outs and scored on an errant throw to make it 5-0.

After a Landon Lassiter two-run homer in the sixth cut it to 5-2, Lynchburg answered with a run in the seventh. Jodd Carter andSalters had back-to-back singles, and Castro brought home Carter with a sacrifice fly. In the eighth inning, Louis Silverio hit a three-run homer to left to bring Winston-Salem within one, 6-5.

Lynchburg pulled away in the ninth with three runs on three hits. Yonathan Mendoza, Castro, and Sam Haggerty all had hits in the stanza, while Mendoza, Carter and Castro plated the runs.

Argenis Angulo entered when the score was 6-5 in the eighth and retired all four batters he faced to earn his fourth save of the year. Shao-Ching Chiang (6-1, 2.39) went 7 2/3 innings to notch his sixth consecutive win. The right-hander struck out seven, which fell two shy of a career high and marked his third highest total as a professional. Brannon Easterling (2-3, 3.50) allowed a season-high five runs on five hits in six innings to suffer the loss.

Lynchburg returns home Friday to begin a five-game, four-day series against Potomac. The Hillcats will send Matt Esparza (2-3, 3.60) to the mound in a game that starts at 6:30 p.m. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a free Hillcats flag giveaway courtesy of Pepsi. Gates open at 5:30. Fans can listen to the game live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com beginning with pre-game coverage at 6:20 p.m.

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