Hillcats enter Carolina League playoffs on seven-game win streak

Claudio Bautista hit a solo home run to extend his hitting streak to eight games, and Jodd Carter went 2-3 with two RBIs to help Lynchburg complete a four-game sweep at Frawley Stadium Monday, 4-3.

lynchburg hillcatsLynchburg ended the regular season on a seven-game winning streak, which improved the team to a league-best 87-52 record. It represents the best winning percentage (.626) by a Lynchburg team since the 1985 Mets went 95-45 (.679).

Sean Brady (3-1) earned the win by holding Wilmington to one run over seven innings. He became the 10th different Hillcats pitcher to go at least seven innings in a start this year. In total, Lynchburg starters went seven frames on 42 occasions in 2017, and the Hillcats went 34-8 in those contests.

The Hillcats built a 3-0 lead with three unearned runs. Carter tripled in the third and scored on an error by the center fielder. In the fifth inning, Martin Cervenka reached on an error to spark a quick rally. Connor Marabell walked, and Carter drove them both in with a two-out single.

Bautista stretched the margin to 4-0 with a home run in the sixth. It marked his seventh of the season and his fifth since August 1.Bautista finished the regular season on a personal-best eight-game hitting streak. Wilmington plated a run in the seventh and two runs in the eighth to pull within one.

With the score 4-3 in the ninth, the Blue Rocks put the possible tying run at third and the possible go-ahead run at second with two outs. However, a flyout to center field ended the game. Henry Martinez allowed two runs in the final two innings but earned a save in his Advanced-A debut.

Lynchburg begins the postseason at Frederick in a best-of-five Northern Division Championship Series Wednesday at 7 p.m.Aaron Civale (11-2, 2.59) will start for the Hillcats. Lynchburg’s first home playoff game will be Friday, Sept. 8, at 6:30 p.m. It will include Postgame Fireworks. All games can be heard live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com.

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