Lynchburg Hillcats snap losing skid
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The Lynchburg Hillcats snapped a three-game losing streak Monday with a 3-2 win over the Frederick Keys. Jerome Pena missed a catch at second base which would have ended the top of the ninth with a fielder’s choice force out. Instead, Will Skinner came around to score while the ball rolled away from second, and the Hillcats took the lead for good.
The game was highlighted by two quality starts. Navery Moore for the Hillcats gave up two runs on seven hits, walked one, and struck out six in six innings tonight. Zach Petersime also completed six frames and gave up two runs. He allowed four hits, walked one, and struck out four. Both starters would take no-decisions.
Shawn McGill did the damage against Petersime, driving in a pair of runs with a two-out double in the fourth inning. The Keys (30-25) tied the game in the fifth inning when Jerome Pena hit his seventh home run of the season with one on and two out. His two RBI gave him a team-best 26 on the season.
The Hillcats (30-24) didn’t break the tie until the ninth inning. Robby Hefflinger extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a leadoff single. That is now the longest active streak in the league. Skinner then came in to pinch run for Hefflinger. David Rohm sacrificed Skinner second with a bunt to the pitcher. Kyle Kubitza popped out to the third baseman, and then right-hander David Walters was brought in from the bullpen to relieve the lefty Zach Fowler who had held the ‘Cats scoreless since the seventh. Walters walked McGill putting runners at first and second. Elmer Reyes came up next and hit a ground ball to the short stop. After Pena dropped the throw to second base, Skinner scored what turned into the game-winning run.
The run put Ronan Pacheco in line for the win as Nate Hyatt entered in the ninth to pick up the save for Lynchburg.
Hyatt surrendered a single but retired his other three batters earning his league-best seventh save of the season. Pacheco (2-1) tossed two scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth striking out four and got the win. Fowler (2-2) swallowed the loss as it was his inherited runner that scored in the ninth.
Game two of the four-game series is set for tomorrow night at 7:00pm. The Hillcats will throw RHP Jarett Miller (4-3, 3.57) against RHP Zach Davies (4-2, 3.92) for the Keys. The Hillcats On-Deck Show powered by Honda/Suzuki of Lynchburg will begin at 6:40pm. Tune in to Erik Wilson and Jake Levy with the call on 97.9 FM The Planet and online at lynchburg-hillcats.com