Lynchburg falls 2-1
Another pitchers’ duel ensured and again the Hillcats were on the wrong end by a score of 2-1. Jake Petricka and Aaron Northcraft went pitch-for-pitch, but it was Brady Shoemaker’s RBI single in the 8th that was the difference in the Winston-Salem win.
After last last’s pitcher’s duel with a pair of top prospects on the mound, the Hillcats had the tall order of facing the Chicago White Sox’s number four prospect, Jake Petricka. While Aaron Northcraft hasn’t had the fan faire of Petricka, he certainly looked every bit as stellar.
It was a battle from the beginning. Northcraft got into a jam in the bottom half of the first. Carlos Sanchez lined a singled, then stole second, but scurried over to third on an errant throw from Hillcats’ catcher Braeden Schlehuber. However, he was able to work out of it by fanning Trayce Thompson and getting Brady Shoemaker to ground out.
Each pitcher would devistate the opposition’s offense in a variety of ways. Petricka had is strike out pitch on point, while not letting a few walks do any damage. Northcraft would be efficent, occasionally mixing in a strike out with ground balls and fly balls.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth that the first run would cross the plate. Nick Ciolli blasted a double into the right-center field gap with one out. Miguel Gonzalez would hit a soft ground ball to third baseman Emerson Landoni. After scooping the ball, Landoni’s throw pulled first baseman Chris Garcia off the bag to put runners at first and second. It woudln’t matter because Juan Silverio gave the first pitch he saw a ride out to deep left-center, left fielder Mycal Jones and center field Matt Lipka converged with Lipka making a valient diving attempt, but just out of his reach. Ciolli would score to give the Dash a 1-0 lead. Gonzalez would stop at third and Silverio got his fourth double of the season.
The top of the six would see the Hillcats answer back quickly. Nick Ahmed got his first hit of the day, a single out to right field with two strikes. Ahmed was on the move when Tommy La Stella hit a grounder to the second baseman Daniel Wagner. La Stella was retired, but Ahmed reached second base. The next batter–and new addition–Adam Milligan laced a single out to right to score Ahmed and tie the game 1-1.
Petricka would go just one more inning and get the no decision. His counterpart , Northcraft, would go a solid seven but also get a no decision.
Each team threatened in the seventh inning, but it was Winston-Salem that broke through in the bottom of the eighth. Chasen Shreve took over for Northcraft and the lefty quickly retired and the first two batters. The two out rally began with a Thompson walk, followed by a Dan Black single to move Thompson into scoring position. It was Brady Shoemaker’s turn to come through in the clutch. After falling down in the count, Shoemaker would hit a bloop single over the head of Matt Weaver at first base. Thompson would score and that would cement the victory for the Dash.
The winning pitcher was Nick McCully (3-2). He went 2.0 innings in relief, surrendered one hit, walked two and fanned two. Chasen Shreve (2-2) picked up his second consecutive loss. He went 1.0 inning, allowed two hits and one walk that lead to the deciding run.
Game two is set for 7:00pm tomorrow at BB & T Park. Cody Martin (5-3-2, 2.83) will look to shutdown the potant Dash offense for the Hillcats. Justin Collop (3-0, 2.95) will get the spot start for the Dash. Tune in and 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 6:40pm with Erik Wilson and Mike Viso.