Hillcats head into All-Star break on loss to Blue Rocks in extras

Lynchburg HillcatsThe Wilmington Blue Rocks outlasted the Lynchburg Hillcats on Sunday, winning 6-5 in 10 innings in the final game of the first half.

The Hillcats (32-35) head into the All-Star break in second place in the Carolina League Northern Division while the Blue Rocks (44-25) have sealed a playoff spot by winning the division.

Tied 5-5 in the 10th inning, the Blue Rocks got runners on the corners when Jose Marquez singled with none away. With Sebastian Rivero on third base, Hillcats reliever Yapson Gomez (Loss, 0-2) balked to allow Rivero to score, giving Wilmington a 6-5 lead that they held onto to win the game.

Earlier in the game, the Blue Rocks took a 2-0 lead on Lynchburg in the first inning when Colby Schultz homered to score Blake Perkins.

Lynchburg got a rally started in the fourth inning. Trenton Brooks and Mike Rivera each singled, and a walk by Connor Smith loaded the bases with nobody out. RBI groundouts by Jodd Carter and Wilbis Santiago plated a pair of runs to tie the game at 2-2.

In the sixth inning, Rudy Martin reached base on an error. Perkins followed him up with a walk to set up Schultz, who doubled to give the Blue Rocks a 4-2 lead.

In the top of the ninth inning, Brewer Hicklen drew a walk to lead off the frame. A single by Nick Pratto scored him to extend the Wilmington advantage to 5-2.

The Hillcats rallied back in a huge ninth inning. Santiago reached on an error and Jonathan Laureano walked. Gavin Collins came in as a pinch hitter for Luke Wakamatsu and ripped a two-run double to cut the Hillcats’ deficit to 5-4. A sacrifice fly by Brooks tied the game at 5-5 and sent it into extra innings.

Matt Solter allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits in 5.2 innings of work in the start. Hector Hernandez fired 1.1 scoreless innings of relief while Gomez allowed two earned runs in three frames.

Daniel Tillo was solid, allowing two runs in seven innings in the start for the Blue Rocks. Robert Garcia fired a scoreless inning while Mitchell was tagged with three runs (one earned) in relief. Dye (Save, 1) allowed one hit in a scoreless 10th inning.

The Hillcats will take a three-day hiatus for the All-Star break before returning to action on Thursday when they visit the Winston-Salem Dash for a four-game series. First pitch for Thursday’s game is set for 7 p.m.

Max Gun will be on the air at 6:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.

The Hillcats next return home on Monday, June 24 to host a seven-game home stand with games against the Frederick Keys and Down East Wood Ducks. Homestand highlights include Kids Eat Free Tuesday, Winning Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fantastic Friday, Sparking Saturday, and Sandlot Sunday. Friday’s and Saturday’s games will include postgame fireworks shows presented by Kona Ice and Central Virginia Sports Commission, respectively.

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

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