Buies Creek rallies, tops Hillcats in extras

Lynchburg held a 3-2 lead from the fourth inning until the seventh, but Buies Creek tied it at that time and used a four-run 11th inning to claim a 7-3 result Wednesday night at City Stadium.

lynchburg hillcatsIt represented the third straight game between the Hillcats and Astros that was decided in a team’s final at-bat. Lynchburg fell to 16-16 in such contests and 5-7 in extra-inning affairs. The Hillcats still maintain the best overall record in the Carolina League at 73-49.

The Hillcats scored the first run of the evening in the third on back-to-back doubles by Sam Haggerty and Willi Castro. Buies Creek answered with two runs in the fourth to take a 2-1 advantage. However, the Hillcats responded immediately with a two-run bottom of the fourth to reclaim the lead, 3-2.

Sicnarf Loopstok led off the fourth with a double and scored two batters later on a Connor Marabell single. Two batters after that, Claudio Bautista drove in Marabell with a sacrifice fly. The Hillcats maintained their 3-2 margin until the Astros evened the score in the seventh when Rodrigo Ayarza tripled and Myles Straw singled.

Knotted at 3-all, Buies Creek surged ahead in the 11th. The Astros plated four runs on the combination of three hits and three walks. Carmen Benedetti’s two-run double to make it 6-3 served as the big blow in the frame.

Kieran Lovegrove (3-3) suffered the loss, while Carlos Sierra (3-1) earned the victory with five strikeouts over three scoreless innings of relief. Dominic DeMasi did not factor into the decision despite leaving the game with a 3-2 lead after a quality start. He allowed just two runs on seven hits in six innings.

Lynchburg concludes its only home series against Buies Creek Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Tanner Tully (0-3, 4.86) will start for Lynchburg. The game can be heard live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com.

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