Big first inning leads to fifth straight Hillcats win, 6-3

Lynchburg scored four runs on five hits in the first six batters of the game to storm out to a 4-0 lead and eventually win 6-3 in the series opener at Buies Creek Tuesday night.

lynchburg hillcatsThe Hillcats won their 13th game out of their last 15 to improve to a Carolina League-best 78-49 as well as a league-best 37-22 on the road. Lynchburg reduced its magic number to clinch the second-half Northern Division title to four.

Sam Haggerty and Willi Castro opened the night with back-to-back singles. Andrew Calica hit an RBI double to plate the first run of the game, and Castro scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0. Ka’ai Tom tripled to right field to push the margin to 3-0, andMartin Cervenka singled with one out to cap off the scoring.

Buies Creek scored a run in the second and another in the third to cut it to 4-2. The Astros had the bases loaded with only one out in the third, but Dominic DeMasi induced an inning-ending double play to end the threat and maintain a two-run advantage.Castro singled in the sixth inning, stole a base, and eventually came home on another wild pitch to increase the difference to 5-2.

Lynchburg’s final run occurred in the eighth inning when Sicnarf Loopstok hit a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in Haggerty,who drew a leadoff walk to begin the frame. Loopstok leads the team with 64 RBIs.

Dominic DeMasi earned the win (6-3) by holding Buies Creek to two runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. Billy Strode tossed two scoreless innings of middle relief to earn a hold, and Luke Eubank struck out three batters as part of the final 1 1/3 innings of the game.

Lynchburg continues its series against the Astros Wednesday at 7 p.m. Sean Brady (1-0, 4.76) will make his second start of the year for the Hillcats. The game can be heard live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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