Hillcats split twinbill with Wilmington

The Lynchburg Hillcats and Wilmington Blue Rocks split a doubleheader Sunday in the Hill City.

Game one went to the B-Rocks 1-0, while game two went to the ‘Cats 3-2. Tommy La Stella, in his first start in over a month, got the eventual winning RBI in the bottom of the third on a sac fly. It was the 12th and 13th time in 20 meetings that the two teams played a one-run game.

The double-dip got underway with pregame festivities as Nick Ahmed and Chris Garcia were named Co-MVPs for the Hillcats 2012 season.

It was a quiet game through the first five innings in game one. The only major threat belonged to the Blue Rocks in the top of the second innings. The bases were loaded with one, but Ryan Weber was able to induce a ground ball and the defense turned the 6-4-3 double play.

The scoreless tie was finally broken in the top of the sixth inning. A walk started the inning and Nick Van Stratten followed with a base hit off new pitcher Andrew Wilson. Brett Eibner would hustle to third on the play. The very next batter, Matt Fields, would come through with a deep sac fly that scored Eibner for the game’s only run.

Jason Adam (6-12) got the win for his six innings of scoreless work. Wilson (3-3) got the loss.

It didn’t take long for the ‘Cats offense to wake up in game two. Back-to-back singles by Ahmed and Tommy La Stella set the table for Chris Garcia. A Garcia double to the gap scored both runs to give Lynchburg the early 2-0 lead.

Wilmington battled back in the top of the third with a run of their own. Orlando Calixte singled and stole second before Lane Adams ripped a double off of Michael Lee. Calixte scored to cut the lead to 2-1.

Lynchburg answered back in the bottom of the third, however. Ahmed reached second on an error, then a passed ball allowed him to take third. La Stella followed with his team-leading 10th sac fly of the season to score Ahmed. The score was 3-1 after three.

The Blue Rocks got their offense going in the top of the fifth. Back-to-back singles started the inning. Fields came up and hit a slow roller to La Stella, rushing the throw, he threw it away and Calixte would score to cut the lead to 3-2.

However, John Cornely entered for the final two and continued to dominate in his second appearance. He now has eight strikeouts in four innings as a Hillcat.

Lee (3-2) got the win for his five innings of work. He allowed two runs–one earned–on seven hits. Elisaul Pimentel (3-3) got the loss by allowing three runs–two earned–in four and two-thirds innings. Cornely earned his first save in his first opportunity with the ‘Cats

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