Down East bullpen fires four shutout innings to defeat Hillcats on Wednesday
The Hillcats (11-10, 43-45) grounded into three double plays on the night as the Wood Ducks (12-8, 62-28) out-hit Lynchburg 12-8.
Down East started the scoring in the first inning. JP Martinez led off the frame with a single and stole second base. Josh Altmann walked, and a wild pitch moved up both runners to second and third base. An RBI groundout by Diosbel Arias scored Martinez to plate the game’s first run, and Curtis Terry doubled home Altmann for a 2-0 Woodies lead.
The Rangers affiliate scored again in the third. Martinez worked a lead off walk and stole second. With two away, Yanio Perez grooved an RBI single up the middle to widen the gap to 3-0.
Lynchburg rallied to make it a one-run contest in the fourth. Oscar Gonzalez led off with a single and moved to third on a double from Will Benson. An RBI groundout from Gavin Collins scored Gonzalez to trim the deficit to 3-1. A batter later, Mitch Reeves hit a grounder to third base that was bobbled by Arias for an error, allowing Benson to score to pull the Hillcats within 3-2.
Down East would add some insurance with two runs in the fifth. Eric Jenkins led off with a single and scored on an RBI double from Martinez. With two out, Perez drove home Martinez with a single, capping the scoring at 5-2.
Evan Mitchell (Loss, 2-1) started for Lynchburg and allowed five earned runs on 10 hits in 4.2 innings. Randy Valladares worked 2.1 scoreless frames and Aaron Pinto fired a clean eighth inning.
Tim Brennan (Win, 1-0) started for Down East in his Carolina League debut. He worked five innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits. Josh Advocate worked three scoreless frames in relief, retiring the final nine batters he faced. Joe Kuzia (Save, 11) picked up the final three outs without issue to nail down the win.
The Hillcats continue their series with Down East on Thursday in the middle game of the three-game set. Left-hander Kirk McCarty (2-2, 4.74) will start for Lynchburg against Sal Mendez (5-0, 2.22) for the Wood Ducks. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Grainger Stadium.
Max Gun will be on the air at 6:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
The Hillcats will return to City Stadium on July 17 for a six-game home stand against Fayetteville and Frederick. Homestand highlights include Winning Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fantastic Friday, Sparkling Saturday, and Sandlot Sunday. Friday’s post-game fireworks show will be presented by Pepsi while Saturday’s will be presented by Kona Ice.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.