Blue Rocks avoid Lynchburg Hillcats sweep


lynchburg hillcatsLynchburg had the potential tying run in scoring position in the ninth inning, but the Hillcats could not complete a late comeback and resulting sweep against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, falling 7-5 Wednesday night at Frawley Stadium.

Both teams used extra-base hits to score early. Greg Allen began the game with a triple that split the gap in right-center field. He scored on the very next batter when Tyler Krieger hit a sacrifice fly on a line drive to center field for his first RBI as a Hillcat. Wilmington answered in a big way with a four-run inning highlighted by a three-run homer by Samir Duenez to take a 4-1 advantage after one.

In the second, Francisco Mejia hit a one-out single to extend his hitting streak to 25 games, dating back to his time at Lake County. Taylor Murphy followed with a two-run homer to right field to cut the score to 4-3.

Lynchburg tied the game briefly in the fifth inning. Mark Mathias and Juan De La Cruz drew back-to-back walks to open the stanza. Allen bunted his way on base to load them up with nobody out. Krieger hit another sacrifice fly to tie the game, 4-all, but the Lynchburg rally stopped there.

Wilmington responded immediately with a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to open up a 7-4 margin. Brandon Downeshad an RBI double in the sixth, and Austin Bailey drove him in with a triple down the right-field line.

Lynchburg tried to stage a ninth-inning comeback. De La Cruz and Allen started it with leadoff walks, and a ground-rule double by Luigi Rodriguez cut the deficit to 7-5 with two runners in scoring position and only one out. Derek Gordon shut down the threat at that point with a strikeout and a flyout to improve to 5-5 in save opportunities. Corey Ray (4-2) earned the win after allowing four runs on six hits in six innings. Anderson Polanco received his first loss as a starter after surrendering six runs, five earned, in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out a season-high eight batters, one shy of his career mark.

Lynchburg is 3-4 in games it has a chance to complete a sweep…The Hillcats fell to 11-11 in series finales and 4-6 on getaway days.

Lynchburg travels overnight to Carolina to begin a four-game series against the Mudcats Thursday at 7 p.m. LHP Luis Lugo (3-2, 4.30) will start for Lynchburg. Fans can listen to the action on 93.3 FM and 1320 AM as well as www.lynchburg-hillcats.com, beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show at 6:45 p.m.



uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

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.

Subscribe

Augusta Free Press content is available for free, as it has been since 2002, save for a disastrous one-month experiment at putting some content behind a pay wall back in 2009. (We won’t ever try that again. Almost killed us!) That said, it’s free to read, but it still costs us money to produce. The site is updated several times a day, every day, 365 days a year, 366 days on the leap year. (Stuff still happens on Christmas Day, is what we’re saying there.) AFP does well in drawing advertisers, but who couldn’t use an additional source of revenue? From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading. Now we’re saying, you can drop us a few bucks, if you’re so inclined.