Lynchburg Hillcats top P-Nats, 5-3

lynchburg hillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats did not allow a hit until the sixth inning on Friday night, and went on to beat the Potomac Nationals, 5-3, at Pfitzner Stadium.

Hillcats starter Justin Garza (Win, 2-0) exited the ballgame after 5.2 hitless innings, and the Nats finally broke up the no-no against reliever Billy Strode later in the sixth inning when Rhett Wiseman hit an RBI single.

Lynchburg (8-7) has now won five of their last seven games and evened the four-game series against Potomac (9-7) at one game each.

Lynchburg started the scoring in the first inning when they tagged Nats starter Matthew Crownover (Loss, 1-1) for a pair of runs. Luke Wakamatsu reached on an error and Li-Jen Chu doubled to put runners on second and third with one out. Emmanuel Tapia followed with an RBI double and Conner Capel hit an RBI groundout to give the Hillcats a 2-0 lead.

Potomac trimmed the lead in half in the third when Telmito Agustin hit a sac fly to pull the Nats within 2-1.

The Hillcats added to their lead in the fourth. Tapia ripped his second double of the game and later scored on a wild pitch to push the lead to 3-1.

A sacrifice fly by Mitch Longo in the fifth extended Lynchburg’s lead to 4-1.

In a 4-2 game in the seventh, Chu gave Lynchburg some more breathing room by working a bases loaded walk, stretching the lead to 5-2.

Austin Davidson hit an RBI single in the ninth to make it a 5-3 game, and Jakson Reetz worked a walk to load the bases with two outs against Dalbert Siri.

Manager Rougie Odor called on Kieran Lovegrove (Save, 2) to get the final out, and Lovegrove was able to get Wiseman to fly out to shallow center field to strand the bases loaded and end the game.

Garza tied a season high with seven strikeouts and still hasn’t allowed an earned run this season through three starts. Strode worked two innings and allowed one unearned run and Siri allowed a run in his inning of work.

Crownover worked six innings for the P-Nats and allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits, striking out two. Steven Fuentes allowed one run on three hits in 0.2 innings and Jordan Mills tossed 2.1 scoreless frames.

Lynchburg will continue their series against Potomac on Saturday. Right-hander Jake Paulson (1-1, 2.89) will start for the Hillcats opposite of righty Sterling Sharp (1-1, 4.73) for Potomac. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Pfitzner Stadium.

Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air with pre-game coverage starting at 6:25 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.

For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144. or stop by the City Stadium box office.