Hillcats take advantage of five Fayetteville errors in win

Lynchburg HillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats were able to salvage the finale of the three-game series against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, winning 7-4 on Thursday night.

Lynchburg (15-18, 47-53) and Fayetteville (17-18, 48-56) matched up in a four-hour five-minute contest on Thursday, marking the Hillcats’ longest game of the season.

Fayetteville struck first in the first inning. Justin Garza loaded the bases after Jeremy Pena doubled, Jake Adams walked and Jacob Meyers was hit by a pitch. Later in the frame, Ross Adolph worked a bases loaded walk to score Pena, giving the Woodpeckers a 1-0 lead.

The game remained that way until the third. Steven Kwan led off the inning with a walk and moved up to third on a single from Tyler Freeman. Wilbis Santiago then roped a single to right field, and outfielder Corey Julks could not keep the ball in front of him, allowing it to roll to the wall for an error. Santiago was able to run all the way home on the play, pushing Lynchburg in front 3-1.

The Woodpeckers trimmed the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the third, capitalizing again on another bases loaded walk. Michael Papierski drew the free pass to bring Fayetteville within a run.

Lynchburg tacked on another in the fourth. Luke Wakamatsu reached on an error by the second baseman Pena and Freeman got aboard on a bunt single. Later in the inning with two out, Gavin Collins scored Wakamatsu with an infield RBI single to widen the gap to 4-2.

In the sixth, the Hillcats added another run. Santiago reached on an error and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Will Benson, extending Lynchburg’s lead to 5-2.

The bottom of the seventh inning saw the Astros affiliate draw a run closer. Adams and Adolph walked, while Meyers singled to load the bases with none out. Papierski worked his second bases loaded walk of the day tighten up the game at 5-2. Hector Hernandez (Win, 3-2) then rebounded to strike out Enmanuel Valdez, and got Miguelangel Sierra to bounce into an inning-ending double play to limit the damage.

The Hillcats added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth. Freeman singled to lead off the inning and Santiago doubled. After a Mitch Reeves walk loaded the bases, Collins drove home Freeman with a single. Two batters later, Jonathan Laureano ripped a run scoring single to plate Santiago, extending the Lynchburg lead to 7-3.

The Woodpeckers’ final run came on a Jake Adams RBI single in the eighth inning to cap the scoring.

Freeman, Kwan, Santiago and Collins each picked up multi-hit games for Lynchburg. Santiago and Collins also each drove in a pair of runs.

Garza started for Lynchburg and allowed two earned runs on three hits in 3.2 innings. He walked a season-high seven and struck out five. Hernandez worked 3.1 frames and allowed a run, while Felix Tati gave up a run in the eighth inning. Jonathan Teaney (Save, 2) worked a clean ninth inning to nail down the win.

Luis Garcia (Loss, 3-3) started for Fayetteville and allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits in 3.2 innings. He walked four and struck out six. Hemberto Castellanos surrendered an unearned run over 2.1 frames and Brett Conine gave up two runs on five hits in three frames.

Lynchburg completes its season series with Fayetteville with a 7-7 record.

The Hillcats now head home for a three-game weekend series against the Winston-Salem Dash, A-Adv. affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Left-hander Kirk McCarty (2-2, 3.60) will take the ball for the Hillcats, while the Dash will counter with righty Jonathan Stiever (3-3, 2.08). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at City Stadium.

Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 6:20 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.

Homestand highlights include post-game fireworks on Friday and Saturday night, with post-game kids run the bases on Sunday. Friday’s fireworks show is presented by 3rd Street Brewing, while Saturday’s is brought to you by Central Virginia Federal Credit Union.

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

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