Hillcats top Blue Rocks, 3-1, stay alive in playoff hunt
Lynchburg (28-33, 60-68) scored all three of its runs on sacrifice flies in the win over the Blue Rocks (34-29, 78-54).
Lynchburg opened up the gates in the second inning. Will Benson led off the frame with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Laureano. A sacrifice fly by Connor Smith plated Benson to give the Hillcats a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth, Wilmington struck back. Tyler Hill got aboard with a one-out single and moved to second on a throwing error from Laureano at third. A single by Dennicher Carrasco brought him home to knot the game up at 1-1.
The game would remain tied until the seventh when Lynchburg got a leadoff man on base when Smith was hit by a pitch. A double by Cody Farhat moved both runners into scoring position. Steven Kwan stepped up to the plate and flew out to score Smith, giving the Hillcats a 2-1 lead on the sacrifice fly.
The Hillcats tacked on in the eighth. Mitch Reeves reached on a single to begin the frame and moved to second on a wild pitch, then to third on a single from Gavin Collins. Benson’s sacrifice fly extended the Lynchburg advantage to 3-1. Wilmington never threatened as the Hillcats cruised to the win.
Juan Hillman (Win, 5-12) was excellent in the start for the Hillcats, firing seven frames while giving up just one earned run on three hits. Skylar Arias struck out three in 1.2 scoreless innings, and Jonathan Teaney (Save, 4) struck out the only batter he faced in the ninth.
Kris Bubic (Loss, 4-6) was solid in the start for Wilmington, surrendering two earned runs on eight hits over seven innings of work. Collin Snider let up an unearned run in an inning out of the Blue Rocks bullpen.
The Hillcats will look to keep things going in the second game of the series on Tuesday. The Hillcats will hand the ball over to right-hander Cody Morris (2-0, 3.62) where he will be met by lefty Rito Lugo (3-3, 2.33). First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.
The final homestand of the season continues on Tuesday, which is a Kids Eat Free Tuesday. Homestand highlights also include Winning Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fantastic Friday, Sparkling Saturday, and Sandlot Sunday. Friday’s game will be Margaritaville Night at City Stadium with a Jimmy Buffett cover band and an Aloha Jersey Auction as well as a sunglasses giveaway courtesy of High Peak Sportswear. Saturday’s game will have the final fireworks show of the season at City Stadium.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.