Frederick tops Hillcats, 4-3
Lynchburg tied the game on three different occasions in a back-and-forth contest Tuesday night, but Frederick claimed the lead for a fourth time in the ninth inning and held on for a 4-3 victory at City Stadium.
It marked the first time the Hillcats dropped a home game against the Keys in 2017, falling to 9-1 in such contests. For the third time in their last four meetings, the Keys struck in the first. A double from Randolph Gassaway put two runners in scoring position. Shane Hoelscher followed with his own double to drive in Ademar Rifaela. In the home half, Sam Haggerty walked and stole second. Sicnarf Loopstok knocked him in with a two-out single to tie the game at 1-1.
Alex Murphy walked to begin the second. He advanced to second on a fielder’s choice, which helped him score on a Drew Turbin single to regain Fredrick’s lead. The Hillcats evened it up again in the fourth when a double to the right-center gap by Connor Marabell scored Ka’ai Tom all the way from first. For Marabell, it was his 25th RBI of the season.
Frederick took another lead in the fifth when Gassaway mashed a two-strike pitch over the fence in left and put the Keys on top, 3-2. With the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, Haggerty drew a walk that plated Martin Cervenka to tie the game for a third time, 3-all.
Frederick took the lead for good in the top of the ninth. After a leadoff double and an error put Murphy on third base, Turbin drove him in with a double of his own, making it 4-3.
For the Keys, starter Ofelky Peralta allowed just two runs on six hits while walking four over five innings pitched. Hillcats hurler Aaron Civale allowed three runs on eight hits while fanning six over seven frames. Neither starter factored into the decision.
Luis Gonzalez (2-2) earned the win with 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Tanner Chleborad converted his 13th save in 14 chances with two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 ninth. Justin Garcia (3-3) suffered the loss even though the run against him was unearned in two innings of work.
The series concludes Wednesday night when Triston McKenzie (9-4, 2.86) faces Cristian Alvarado (5-8, 5.47). It’s Karate Kid Night at the Ballpark, and gates open at 5:30 for the 6:30 contest. Fans who cannot be in attendance can catch the tilt live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com.
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