Cats run over Dash, 7-1
The Hillcats put their foot on the gas from the very beginning in their 7-1 victory over the Winston-Salem Dash. The Dash entered with the league’s best record, but the Hillcats scored a run in six of the eight innings with an at-bat. Matt Lipka’s three RBIs lead the team.
The Hillcats chipped away at Dash starter Ryan Buch from the start to give Dimasther Delgado a comfortable lead early. Nick Ahmed got the Hillcats’ offense started with a walk in the top of the first. He then stole second–his league leading 13th steal–before Tim Smith pulled a double down the right field line to score Ahmed. That would mark the first of six innings the ‘Cats would plate a runner.
The second started with a Chris Garcia double, followed by a Mycal Jones walk. Kyle Rose, on the fifth pitch of his plate appearance, hit a hopper to the Dash first baseman Dan Black. A throw down to second was handled by the shortstop Marcus Semien. The throw beat Jones, but Semien never touched the bag and everyone was safe. Matt Lipka came up and hit a fly ball into right field that drifted foul but was played by Nick Ciolli. Garcia tug up and scored to make it 2-0.
In the third, Lynchburg got the offense started with two outs. This time, Edward Salcedo got the inning going with a double of his own. Garcia added his second double of the game to score Salcedo and give the ‘Cats a 3-0 lead.
Braeden Schlehuber singled to right to start the bottom of the fourth. A sacrifice bunt by Rose moved Schlehuber to second. Then, Lipka got his second RBI of the game with a single to right that scored Schlehuber.
The fifth was the first inning the Hillcats didn’t score.
The Dash cut into the lead thanks to Semien. He extended his league-best hit streak to 17 games with a solo homer to deep center field.
Lynchburg answered back in the bottom of the sixth. Garcia worked a walk to start their portion of the frame. Jones got his first hit as a Hillcat; a bunt down the third base side. Schlehuber added a sac bunt to move both runners over. With Rose at the plate, Dash pitcher Steve McCray bounced a ball in the dirt that skipped by catcher Mike Blanke, Garcia scored and Jones moved to third. Lipka hammered a double down the right field line for his third RBI and second hit of the day. Jones scored on the play to make it 6-1.
The final run was added in the seventh inning by the Hillcats. Garcia was plunked for the second time this season by Dash righty Chris Bassitt. Jones reached base following Garcia with a walk. With runners at first and second, Schlehuber lined a double to left field to score Garcia to extend the lead to7-1.
The winning pitcher was Dimasther Delgado (1-1). His first win of the season came behind six innings of work where he allowed three hits and four walks in addition to four strikeouts. The Semien homer was the only run he allowed. The loss went to Ryan Buch (2-3). He was touched-up for four runs–three earned–on six hits in four innings. Buch also walked two and fanned one.
Game two is set for tomorrow at 6:05 pm. Please come out and support the Hillcats’ Sixth Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night & T-Shirt Giveaway presented by Centra Health. The first 1,000 fans will receive a t-shirt. Portions of the profits from the tickets sold will be donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure in addition to proceeds raised by the Hillcats’ jersey auction. On the mound Lynchburg will send righty J.R. Graham (4-0, 2.61). Righty Matt Heidenreich (3-1, 4.63) will take on the Braves’ 13th-rated prospect. Gates will open tomorrow at 5:00 pm at Lynchburg City Stadium. If you can’t make it to the park, tune in and listen live to all the action on 105.5 FM KD Country and online at lynchburg-hillcats.com starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show coming on the air at 5:40pm with Erik Wilson and Mike Viso.