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Lynchburg Hillcats lose lead in 10th, fall 7-6

lynchburg hillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats took the lead in the 10th inning, but two home runs in the bottom half led to a 7-6 loss to the Frederick Keys Tuesday night at Harry Grove Stadium.  Kyle Kubitza hit a game-tying homer in the ninth and Matt Lipka hit a two-run go ahead shot in the tenth, but Frederick scored three runs in the bottom half to walk off. The Hillcats are now 1-2 in extra inning games this season.

With the Hillcats (30-26) down to their final out, Kubitza clubbed a towering shot over the right field wall to tie the game in the ninth inning.  Wilson Rivera pitched a perfect ninth inning to send the game to extra innings. And Lipka hit his two-run drive in the tenth to seemingly give Lynchburg a commanding lead.

The Keys (31-26) answered with two home runs in the home half off of John Cornely (1-1) drop the ‘Cats.  Nicky Delmonico hit a solo shot to lead off the inning, Michael Ohlman singled and, after a strikeout, Zane Chavez drove one over the right field wall to end the game.  Both the late Hillcats homers came off of Gene Escat (2-4) but he got the win despite blowing his first save of the season.

The Hillcats struck first with a run in the fourth inning.  Hefflinger lined a two-out double to right-center then scored when a chopper off of David Rohm’s bat went under the glove of 3B Delmonico to make it 1-0 Hillcats.

The lead was short-lived as Walker hit a solo home run to lead off the home half of the fourth to tie the game.  It was Walker’s third home run of the season and second against the Hillcats.

The ‘Cats regained the lead with two runs in the fifth.  Kyle Kubitza singled and Shawn McGill doubled to lead off the inning.  Kubitza scored when the next hitter, Elmer Reyes, grounded out to second.  Kubitza has now scored a run in four straight games.  Matt Weaver followed up with an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-1 Hillcats.

Once again the Keys matched the ‘Cats in the bottom of the inning. A single and two walks loaded the bases with two outs for Walker.  He delivered a two-run double to centerfield that tied the game.

That was the end for Hillcats starter Jarett Miller, who was pulled with two outs in the fifth.  He went 4.2 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts in the no decision.  Frederick took the lead in the seventh on a solo home run by Johnny Reutiger off reliever James Hoyt.  Hoyt gave up the lone run in 2.1 innings while striking out four.

Keys starter Zach Davies also got no decision in a five-inning effort.  He gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits while striking out four.  Miguel Chalas pitched three innings of relief in his Carolina League debut to get the Keys to the ninth with the lead.

The Hillcats look to rebound in game three of the four-game set on Wednesday.  First pitch is set for 7pm with A.J. Holland (3-4, 4.11) on the mound for Lynchburg against Eduardo Rodriguez (6-2, 3.13) for Frederick.  You can join Erik Wilson and Jake Levy for all the play-by-play action beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show, powered by Honda/Suzuki of Lynchburg, going live at 5:40pm on 97.9 FM The Planet and lynchburg-hillcats.com.

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