Hillcats rally three times, win in 12th

Lynchburg trailed by three runs on two different occasions, but the Hillcats came back each time to force extra innings and eventually prevail in the 12th, 7-6.

lynchburg hillcatsJodd Carter singled with one out in the decisive frame, stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. That set upMartin Cervenka to provide the game-winning hit by driving a fly ball to the fence in right-center field. It gave Cervenka his 50th RBI of the season and the Hillcats their seventh walk-off victory of the year. Lynchburg improved to 6-7 in extra-inning contests.

Triston McKenzie allowed all six Salem runs in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one. Five Lynchburg relievers combined to keep the Red Sox scoreless over 7 2/3 frames. Justin Garcia went the first 1 2/3 innings, and Nick Pasqualeblanked the Sox in the seventh and eighth stanzas. Billy Strode entered for 1 1/3 innings, and Argenis Angulo backed him up with 1 2/3 scoreless innings, including a perfect 11th.

Luke Eubank (2-0) earned the win after working around a one-out error to toss a scoreless 12th. Harrison Cooney (0-1) took the loss after surrendering one run on two hits in his first inning of work.

After Salem claimed an initial 3-0 advantage, the Hillcats tied the game with three runs on three hits in the bottom of the fourth.Carter had a two-run double to cap off the scoring in the frame. Andrew Calica, Sicnarf Loopstok and Ka’ai Tom scored the runs in stanza. Loopstok had a double as part of the rally, and Connor Marabell had the other RBI on a groundout to second base.

Salem plated three in the top of the fifth to take another three-run lead, 6-3. Lynchburg scored one in the fifth when Claudio Bautista doubled and later scored on a throwing error. Tom and Daniel Salters each scored in the sixth to even the score at 6-all.Sam Haggerty and Willi Castro each had an RBI to help tie the game. It remained deadlocked until the 12th when the Hillcats moved ahead for the first time of the night.

Lynchburg concludes its homestand when it plays Salem Sunday at 5 p.m. Brock Hartson (6-4, 2.91) leads the Carolina League in ERA and will start for the Hillcats. Gates open at 4 for Star Wars Night at the ballpark. The game can be heard live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com.

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Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.


The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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