Hillcats drop series opener at Wilmington, 3-2

Lynchburg HillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats dropped the series opener against the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Tuesday night, falling 3-2.

Lynchburg (24-25, 56-60) did not score after the first inning as Wilmington (25-25, 69-50), scored three unanswered runs to come from behind.

Tied 2-2 entering the eighth inning, Nick Pratto belted a solo home run, his ninth of the season, to put the Blue Rocks ahead for good to cap the scoring.

With Lynchburg ahead 2-0 in the sixth, Wilmington evened the contest. Tyler Hill singled to lead off the inning and Pratto doubled to put runners at second and third. Later in the frame, Cristian Perez connected on a two-run single, plating both Hill and Pratto to tie the game.

The Hillcats opened the scoring in the first. Steven Kwan led off the game with a single and quickly stole second base. Tyler Freeman drove in Kwan with an RBI single and Lynchburg would score again on an RBI fielder’s choice from Will Benson to grab an early 2-0 lead.

Kirk McCarty started for Lynchburg and fanned a season-high 10 batters over 5.1 scoreless innings. He allowed two earned runs on three hits and walked five. Dakody Clemmer worked 1.2 innings and Jonathan Teaney (Loss, 3-2) allowed the homer in the eighth inning to Pratto.

Daniel Lynch started for Wilmington and gave up two earned runs on five hits over six frames. Austin Lambright tossed a scoreless seventh, Andrew Beckwith (Win, 1-0) worked a cleaned eighth and Tad Ratliff (Save, 22) nailed the win in the ninth.

The Hillcats and Blue Rocks will play the middle game of the three-game set on Wednesday. Lynchburg will send right-hander Juan Mota (2-2, 4.79) to the mound against Wilmington righty Jonathan Bowlan (5-3, 3.15). First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Frawley Stadium

Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 6:25 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 lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.

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