Eighth-inning wild pitch dooms Hillcats

lynchburg hillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats came from four runs down to tie the game, but ultimately fell to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 5-4, on Wednesday.

The Blue Rocks (45-49, 13-11) were led by the top of their order in Blake Perkins and D.J. Burt, who combined to reach base seven times in the ballgame, scoring four runs to take the opening game of the series from the Hillcats (44-49, 15-11).

Emmanuel Rivera untied the ballgame in the top of the eighth inning, tripling to dead center off of Micah Miniard (Loss, 3-2), and later scoring on a wild pitch.

Miniard worked the final 2.1 innings, giving up a run on three hits, walking one and striking out two.

The Hillcats had just tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning off of Corey Ray (Win, 1-0). With two on and two out, Trenton Brooks ripped a two-run double to right field, scoring Ernie Clement and Gavin Collins.

Ray gave up two runs on three hits over two innings, but picked up his first win of the season.

Wilmington opened the scoring against Tanner Tully in the first inning. Perkins led off the ballgame with a single, and then Burt tucked a two-run home run inside the left field foul pole to make it 2-0.

Wilmington used an RBI groundout and a sacrifice fly to push the lead to 4-0 in the third inning. Tully would settle down after that, working 6.2 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, striking out six.

The Hillcats finally got to Wilmington starter Daniel Tillo in the sixth inning, loading the bases with nobody out. Li-Jen Chu worked a bases-loaded walk to plate a run, and then Collins scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-2. Tillo would strike out the side to escape further damage. He worked six innings, giving up two runs on six hits, he walked two and struck out seven.

The series continues with a double-header on Thursday, as a makeup game from the July 6 postponement. Right-hander Eli Morgan (8-2, 2.26) will get the start for the Hillcats in game one, opposed by Wilmington right-hander Andres Sotillet (0-1, 5.40). Carter Hope (4-2, 3.61) will start the second game for the Blue Rocks, while Lynchburg has not yet announced a Game Two starter.

Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air from City Stadium beginning at 5:20 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.

It’s Thirsty Thursday at City Stadium featuring $2 Miller Lite and Yuengling drafts.

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

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