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Hillcats rock P-Nats with three-run 10th

Lynchburg HillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats broke open the 3-3 with a three-run 10th as they won Friday’s series opener against the Potomac Nationals.

Lynchburg (22-24, 54-59) took the first game of the series against the P-Nats (27-21, 57-58) and now sit four games out of a playoff spot in the CL North.

The Hillcats struck first on a single off the bat of Gavin Collins that drove in Tyler Freeman.

Jakson Reetz led off the bottom of the second with a double and was quickly plated by Jack Sundberg’s RBI single. After a double steal by the P-Nats, Gage Canning and Sundberg scored on an RBI single by Gilbert Lara.

Lynchburg chipped away at the lead in the third when Will Benson scored on a wild pitch, making the score 3-2 Potomac.

The ‘Cats tied it up in the fourth off of a safety squeeze bunt single by Luke Wakamatsu, which plated Jonathan Laureano after his triple put him on third base.

The score remained 3-3 after the full nine innings.

The Hillcats scored immediately in the tenth when Laureano’s double scored Cody Farhat, the automatic runner on second. Then a triple by Steven Kwan drove in Laureano. A sacrifice fly from Freeman plated Kwan.

The Nationals went after the Hillcats scoring Omar Meregildo on an RBI single from Osvaldo Abreu, but Potomac was unable to score any additional runs and the game ended with a 6-4 Hillcats win.

Juan Hillman left with no decision after 5.2 innings, giving up eight hits and three earned runs. Aaron Pinto retired seven straight batters in scoreless relief, striking out five. Yapson Gomez (Win, 1-4) was called in to hold the tie and faced the minimum in the bottom of the ninth. He came in for the tenth and held the Nationals to just one run to secure the win.

Tim Cate also did not factor in the decision, leaving after six innings and allowing seven hits and three runs. Hayden Howard was brought in for the seventh and shut down the Hillcats. Potomac then called for Jorge Pantoja went two innings, striking out three. The Nationals brought in Jacob Howell (Loss, 0-1) for the tenth. He gave up two hits and three runs, taking the loss.

The Hillcats play the middle game of the series against the P-Nats tomorrow with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Lynchburg will send right-hander Cody Morris (2-0, 3.25) to the mound to face righty Malvin Pena (5-7, 5.82).

Anders Jorstad and Emily Messina will be on the air at 6:55 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, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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