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Big innings lead Lynchburg Hillcats to win

lynchburg hillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats scored four runs in the first and four more in the sixth, and took advantage of five Wilmington Blue Rocks errors in a 10-7 victory on Tuesday.

Lynchburg (67-63, 38-25) went 7-for-17 with runners in scoring position while holding Wilmington (64-69, 33-30) to just a 1-for-13 mark in the same situation.

Down 7-5, the Hillcats put together a four-run frame in the sixth and never looked back. Emmanuel Tapia led off with a line drive solo home run to right, his ninth of the season, trimming the deficit to 7-6. Mitch Longo and Nolan Jones each worked walks, and then Gavin Collins laced a ball back up the middle which hit Corey Ray (Loss, 2-1) on the mound, allowing Longo to score to tie the game, and ending the night for Ray.

Ray went 1.1 innings, allowing four runs on two hits, walked three and struck out a two. Anthony Bender came on and gave up back-to-back RBI singles to Anthony Miller and Austen Wade, to put the Hillcats in front at 9-7.

The ‘Cats opened the scoring with a four-run first inning, in which they ripped six hits. Dillon Persinger led off with a double to deep center and Longo followed with an RBI single back up the middle. Jones, Collins and Miller all added run-scoring doubles in the inning, tagging ‘Rocks starter Andres Sotillet early.

Sotillet logged 4.1 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on 10 hits. He walked two and struck out three.

Wilmington responded with a pair of runs in the second, third and fourth, with Emmanuel Rivera and D.J. Burt each launching two-run home runs to push Wilmington out to a 6-5 advantage.

Hillcats starter Eli Morgan lasted just 3.1 innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on seven hits, walking two and striking out three.

The Blue Rocks added another run in the fifth on an RBI double from Vance Vizcaino, pushing Wilmington ahead, 7-5.

Lynchburg would take on a run in the eighth to make it 10-7, when Trenton Brooks led off the frame with a triple to center, and came into score on a fielding error.

Dalbert Siri (Save, 14) came on to record the final five outs of the ballgame, preserving the win for Luis Jimenez (Win, 2-3) who fired 2.2 innings in relief, giving up a run and striking out four.

The ballgame went 3 hours and 50 minutes, marking the longest nine-inning contest of the season.

The series continues on Wednesday at City Stadium when Hillcats left-hander Kirk McCarty (1-1, 1.80) faces off with Wilmington righty Ofreidy Gomez (5-10, 3.61). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air with the Hillcats pregame show beginning at 6:20 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.

It will be Winning Wednesday at City Stadium, where all fans in attendance will receive a ticket to Thursday’s Fan Appreciation Night.

Thursday will feature a patriotic hat giveaway to the first 1,000 fans, courtesy of Foster Fuels and KD Country. Fans will be treated to various giveaways and concessions deals throughout the game and the night will be capped off with the final post-game fireworks display of the season, presented by Central Virginia Federal Credit Union.

Fan Appreciation Night will also be the final Thirsty Thursday at City Stadium in 2018, featuring $2 Miller Lite and Yuengling drafts.

For tickets and more information, visit, the City Stadium box office, or call 434-528-1144.