Bradley propels Lynchburg Hillcats to 7-2 win
Bobby Bradley went 2-for-3 with with three RBIs to lead the Hillcats to a 7-2 victory over Winston-Salem Saturday night at City Stadium. Lynchburg plated four runs in the fifth and added three more in the sixth to take a commanding lead, as Luis Lugoearned the win in his 2016 debut for the Hillcats.
Lynchburg used back-to-back multi-run frames to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 7-1 advantage. After Winston-Salem tallied the first run in the top of the fifth, the Hillcats answered with four runs in the home half, beginning with an infield single by Claudio Bautista.An error allowed Greg Allen to reach base before Mark Mathias grounded into a fielder’s choice to retire the lead runner in Bautista. After Anthony Santander walked to load the bases, Bobby Bradley put the Hillcats on top with a two-run single to right field. Yu-Cheng Chang singled next to drive in a run, and Taylor Murphy earned his first RBI as a Hillcat on a groundout that scored Bradley.
In the next frame, Lynchburg once again capitalized when Winston-Salem opened the door. The ‘Cats notched three runs without a hit in the stanza. Allen walked, and Mathias and Santander were both hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Bradleyearned his third RBI of the contest with a bases-loaded contest to make it 5-1. A throwing error by Ryan Leonards on a possible inning-ending double play allowed Lynchburg to score two more and extend its cushion to 7-1. An eighth-inning run by Winston-Salem pushed the final score to 7-2.
After starting 25 games and winning eight for the Hillcats last year, Luis Lugo went 5 2/3 innings in his 2016 debut. The only run he surrendered was unearned, and the left-hander struck out five while walking one. Justin Garcia received a hold with 2 1/3 innings of middle relief in which he only conceded one run on three hits while striking out three. Cameron Hill pitched a scoreless ninth inning with one punchout to seal the win.
Before Winston-Salem plated two runs in the fifth inning, Lynchburg held a brief lead after two runs in the bottom of the fourth moved the Hillcats in front, 2-1.
Papi initiated the rally with a bases-empty, two-out walk. He advanced to second on a wild pitch to allow Loopstok to drive him in with a base hit up the middle. Bautista smacked a double to right-center field for the first of his two RBIs in the contest. The Hillcats may have plated even more in the frame, except center fielder Hunter Jones threw out Bautista trying to score from second base on a single by Ivan Castillo one batter later.
Lugo struck out five in his season debut after he led the Hillcats with 119 punchouts in 2015…The Venezuelan native has led his team in strikeouts each of the past two years…Lugo fanned 146 batters in 2014 with Lake County, which marked the most strikeouts for any pitcher in the Indians farm system that season.
Lynchburg plays its first afternoon contest of the season when it closes out its opening series with Winston-Salem at 2 p.m. It also marks the first Family Fun Day presented by ABC 13. Fan can purchase a $40 Family 4-Pack, which includes four GA tickets and four hot dog combo meals. Additionally, kids can run the bases after the game, and families can play catch on the field. Before the contest, select Hillcats players will be available for autographs in the concourse. Gates open at 1 p.m. The game will also be broadcast on 93.3 FM and 1320 AM as well as www.lynchburg-hillcats.com beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show at 1:45 p.m.