Carolina Mudcats salvage finale with walk-off win over Lynchburg Hillcats

lynchburg hillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats battled back to tie the game twice, but fell to the Mudcats, 5-4, on a walk-off fielder’s choice in the series finale on Wednesday night.

The Hillcats (55-58, 26-20) fought a 1:18 rain delay against the Mudcats (55-59, 22-23), with a 45-minute standstill to start the game, and then a 33-minute delay in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Cooper Hummel led off the inning with a double, and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Aguilar. Nathan Rodriguez then hit a sharp ground ball to Tyler Friis, who was playing in, and fired home, but Hummel was able to slide in ahead of the throw to give Carolina the walk-off win.

Lynchburg started the scoring in the first. Trenton Brooks reached on a fielder’s choice, and Li-Jen Chu singled. With two out, Nolan Jones ripped a double down the left field line, scoring Brooks for a 1-0 Hillcats lead.

Carolina took a 2-1 lead in the third. Devin Hairston and Mario Feliciano walked, while Dallas Carroll singled to load the bases. Demi Orimoloye then hit an RBI groundout to score Hairston, and Carroll scored on a throwing error by Anthony Miller to put the Muddies ahead.

Aguilar doubled to lead off the fourth inning, and scored on a Rob Henry RBI single to extend Carolina’s lead to 3-1.

Lynchburg rallied in the fifth. With two out, Chu and Jones worked back-to-back walks, and a wild pitch advanced them to second and third, respectively. Jorma Rodriguez then lined a two-run single to left field to knot the game at 3-3.

The seesaw battled continued as the Mudcats went ahead again in the bottom of the fifth. Feliciano led off the inning with a single and scored on a Hummel RBI double for a 4-3 lead.

In the seventh, Lynchburg rallied again with two away. Chu tripled off of the right field wall, and scored on a wild pitch to put the game in a 4-4 deadlock.

Sam Hentges started for Lynchburg, and fired four innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits, walking five and striking out six. Nick Pasquale tossed 2.1 scoreless innings, while Leandro Linares (Loss, 4-1) allowed the winning run in the ninth.

Victor Diaz gave up three earned runs on four hits in five innings. He walked five and struck out five. Rodrigo Benoit surrendered a run in two innings and Cody Beckman (Win, 1-2) pitched two scoreless innings.

After an off day on Thursday, the Hillcats will be back in action on Friday against the Down East Wood Ducks. Left-hander Tanner Tully (3-10, 4.56) will start for Lynchburg, while Down East has not yet announced a starting pitcher. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air at 6:20 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.

It will be Margaritaville Night, featuring a live cover band pre-game, as well as $8 beeritas and concession deals. There will also be a t-shirt giveaway to the first 1,000 fans.

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

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