Big second inning lifts Lynchburg Hillcats to win
Lynchburg (12-8) erased a 1-0 deficit against Down East (13-7) with five runs in the second inning to go ahead and never looked back.
With one out in the frame, Jodd Carter doubled, Sicnarf Loopstok walked and Austen Wade singled to load the bases. Luke Wakamatsu worked a bases loaded walk to bring home a run and tie the game at 1-1. With the bases reloaded, Steven Kwan ripped a bases-clearing three-run triple down the right field line to give the Hillcats a 4-1 lead. A batter later, Dillon Persinger drove in Kwan with a sacrifice fly to push Lynchburg’s advantage to 5-1.
Carter stretched the lead to 6-1 when he connected on a solo home run with two out in the third inning. It was his fourth blast of the season and second of the series.
Down East would make a comeback bid throughout the night. Diosbel Arias grooved an RBI single in the third to make it a 6-2 game.
In the fourth inning, the Woodies brought the score to 6-4. Ryan Dorrow reached on an error and Yanio Perez doubled to put runners at second and third. Melvin Novoa brought home Dorrow with a ground out and Perez scored on a wild pitch to make it a two-run contest.
Lynchburg added a run of insurance in the ninth inning. Wade walked with one out, and came around to score on a Kwan RBI double, capping the scoring at 7-4.
Kwan finished 2-for-5 with a career-high four RBI.
Down East plated the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly from Tyreque Reed in the first inning.
Juan Hillman started for Lynchburg and pitched 3.2 innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and walked two. Felix Tati (Win, 1-1) fired 2.1 scoreless frames in relief, while Yapson Gomez picked up two outs in the seventh. Jared Robinson (Save, 3) went the final 2.1 innings and struck out three.
Robinson has now pitched ten scoreless innings to open the season with 14 strikeouts.
Jake Latz (Loss, 0-1) allowed five earned runs on three hits in just 1.1 frames, walking three. Sal Mendez surrendered a run on two hits in 3.2 innings in relief, and Peter Fairbanks gave up the final run in the ninth.
The series against Down East concludes on Thursday with the finale of the three-game set. Right-hander Justin Garza (1-3, 7.64) is slated to pitch for Lynchburg, while the Woodies have not yet announced a starter.
Max Gun will be on the air beginning at 6:50 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.
The Hillcats will return home on Friday, April 26 to begin a three-game set against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The Aloha Weekend series will feature post-game fireworks shows on Friday and Saturday. Saturday’s game is also Autism Awareness Night at City Stadium.
For tickets and more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, the City Stadium box office, or call 434-528-1144