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Eighth-inning rally dooms Lynchburg Hillcats

lynchburg hillcatsIn their first road game of the season, the Lynchburg Hillcats dropped a back-and-forth battle, losing to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 4-2 on Thursday night.

Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Chris DeVito ripped a two-out, two-run single to give the Blue Rocks enough offense to win their home-opener.

Kieran Lovegrove nearly escaped the jam after Gabriel Cancel struck out on a foul bunt with two strikes, and Khalil Lee flew out to left field for the second out. Emmanuel Rivera singled and took second base on the throw from the outfield, setting up DeVito for the game winner.

The Hillcats (3-5) struck first in the third inning. Erlin Cerda reached on an error and scored after Alexis Pantoja ripped an RBI double to make it 1-0 Lynchburg.

The Blue Rocks (3-5) were held hitless until the sixth inning, when Rudy Martin tied the game at 1-1 with a solo home run, his first of the season. It was the only hit that Hillcats starter Zach Plesac allowed on the night.

Wilmington grabbed their first lead in the seventh inning when Xavier Fernandez hit a two-out, two-run double to plate Kort Peterson.

Lynchburg evened the score at 2-2 in the eighth inning after Ofreidy Gomez uncorked a wild pitch with the bases loaded.

Pleasac allowed just one run on one hit in six innings. He struck out four and walked four. Anderson Polanco (Loss, 1-1) allowed two earned runs in one inning of work, walking one.

The Hillcats left a season-high 11 runners on base in the loss.

Anthony Bender started for Wilmington and allowed one earned run on five hits in four innings. Gomez walked six and allowed a run in 3.1 innings in relief. With the bases loaded in the eighth, Walker Sheller (Win, 1-1) was summoned out of the bullpen and got Erlin Cerda to hit into a double play to keep the game tied at 2-2, and then followed by pitching a scoreless ninth.

Lynchburg will continue their series against Wilmington on Friday. Left-hander Tanner Tully (0-0, 3.60) will start for the Hillcats and righty Gerson Garabito (0-0, 0.00) will get the nod for the Blue Rocks. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Frawley Stadium.

Max Gun will be on the air with pre-game coverage starting at 6:55 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 app.

For tickets or more information, visit, call 434-528-1144. or stop by the City Stadium box office.

augusta free press
augusta free press