Four-run outburst fuels 5-2 Lynchburg win
Sicnarf Loopstok’s two-run, opposite-field homer capped off a four-batter stretch in the third inning in which all four Hillcats registered a hit and scored to send Lynchburg to a 5-2 victory at City Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Trailing 1-0, Daniel Salters initiated the quick rally with a line-drive single to begin the frame. Sam Haggerty doubled off the wall to put two runners in scoring position. Ka’ai Tom drove them both in with a double to right-center field to give Lynchburg a 2-1 lead. Loopstok hit a deep fly ball over the right-field fence to stake the Hillcats to a 4-1 advantage. Loopstok increased his team-leading RBI total to 30 while moving into a tie with Jodd Carter for the team lead in homers on his sixth blast of the year.
Lynchburg added its final run in the fifth inning when three straight Hillcats reached with two outs. Martin Cervenka singled, and Andrew Calica walked. Yonathan Mendoza blooped a base hit down the left-field line to plate Cervenka and make it 5-1.
Frederick tallied its runs in the second and seventh stanzas. Ademar Rifaela hit a solo homer to begin the second inning and claim a 1-0 lead for the Keys. In the seventh, Steve Laurino hit a two-out double and came home one batter later on an Armando Araiza single.
Shane Bieber (1-1) earned his first win at the Advanced-A level by holding Frederick to one run and four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked none. Kieran Lovegrove notched his first save with two scoreless innings of relief. Cody Sedlock (4-4) took the loss after surrendering five runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 frames. Mitch Horacek retired all 10 batters he faced out of the Frederick bullpen, striking out six.
The victory gave Lynchburg its first sweep in a three- or four-game series this year. Lynchburg will try to win five in a row for the third time in 2017 when it takes the field at City Stadium Monday at 6:30 p.m. The Hillcats will begin a four-game, three-day series against Wilmington with Aaron Civale (1-1, 2.61) making his home debut. Gates open at 5:30, and the game can be heard live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com.