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Four-run sixth lifts Hillcats to win in series opener with Sox

Lynchburg HillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats won the series opener against the Salem Red Sox on Tuesday night, 8-4.

Lynchburg (20-23, 52-58) picks up a game in the standings to pull within 4.5 games of Salem (25-19, 50-61), for the final playoff spot in the CL North.

Tied 4-4 heading into the sixth, the Hillcats scored four runs in the frame to pull ahead for good. Gavin Collins led off the inning with a solo home run, his sixth of the season, to propel Lynchburg to a 5-4 lead. Later in the inning, Jonathan Laureano singled ahead of an RBI double from Mike Rivera. After Cody Farhat reached on a single, Steven Kwan swatted a two-run single to plate both Rivera and Farhat, widening the gap to 8-4, capping the scoring.

Salem took an early 2-0 in the first. Victor Acosta reached on an error and scored on an RBI double from Keith Curcio. Edgar Corcino kept the frame going with a single of his own and Tanner Nishioka knocked him in.

Lynchburg chipped into the deficit in the second. Collins reached on an error and moved to third on a double from Rivera. Farhat brought in Collins with a sac fly.

In the fourth, the Hillcats took its first lead of the day with a three-run inning. Mitch Reeves singled to start things off and touched home on an RBI double from Collins. After moving up to third base on a ground out, Collins would score on a sac fly from Rivera. Farhat reached on a double and scored on a Luke Wakamatsu RBI double, putting Lynchburg in front, 4-2.

Salem briefly tied the game at 4-4 when Garrett Benge hit a two-run shot in the fourth inning.

Each Hillcats starter recorded a hit on Tuesday, with Collins, Rivera and Farhat all picking up multi-hit contests.

Brock Hartson started for Lynchburg and worked four innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits. Justin Garza (Win, 5-8) fired four scoreless innings and struck out five in relief. Jonathan Teaney pitched a scoreless ninth to preserve the win.

Daniel Gonzalez (Loss, 4-8) gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits over five frames. Rio Gomez allowed two runs in the sixth inning and Joan Martinez tossed three scoreless.

The Hillcats and Red Sox will play the middle game of the three-game set on Wednesday. Lynchburg will send left-hander Kirk McCarty (2-4, 5.40) to the mound against Salem lefty Enmanuel De Jesus (6-8, 4.09). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Haley Toyota Field.

Anders Jorstad and Emily Messina will be on the air at 6:55 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.

The Hillcats will return to City Stadium on August 16 when the Carolina Mudcats, A-Adv. affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers come to town for a three-game set. Weekend highlights include First Responders Night on Saturday with post-game fireworks sponsored by Hill City Pharmacy. Friday’s contest will also feature a post-game fireworks show presented by Pepsi. Sunday’s game will be a Sandlot Sunday where all kids in attendance will be able to run the bases after the conclusion of the game.

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

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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