Hillcats top Frederick, 6-1

lynchburg hillcatsThe Hillcats beat the Frederick Keys 6-1 tonight behind an outstanding performance from starter Greg Ross. He threw seven scoreless innings, and retired the last five batters he faced. Elmer Reyes broke the game open in the sixth inning with a three-run triple, leading the Hillcats to a series opening victory. It was the first time the Hillcats have won a game when traveling over three hours the day of the game, going 0-6 in such games before tonight.

Lynchburg (12-21, 48-54) scored without a hit in the first inning. Frederick (15-20, 49-55) starter Brady Wager hit Matt Lipka to start the game. Lipka then stole second base, his 22nd steal of the season. A ground out to the mound moved Lipka to third, and then Josh Elander grounded out to the third baseman, driving in Lipka. The Hillcats added another in the second inning. Shawn McGill doubled with one out. He advanced to third on a ground out to shortstop and scored on a wild pitch. The ‘Cats were up 2-0.

Ross wasn’t perfect on the mound for Lynchburg, but he turned in one of his best outings of the year. He stranded four runners in the first three innings before getting a perfect frame in the fourth. He allowed two hits in the fifth, and another hit and a walk in the sixth, but double plays helped him out of both jams. He completed his night with a perfect seventh.

The Hillcats meanwhile added more support in the sixth inning. Wager struck out the first two of the inning, retiring 12 consecutive Hillcats at that point. Trent Moses broke the streak with a walk and things fell a part for Wager. Kyle Kubitza came up next and hit a long line drive to right field. The ball appeared to go over the wall in right, bounce of a plank, short-hop off the second row of billboards (which is out of play), and ricochet back into right field. No home run signal was called and a confused Kubitza stopped at second base, while Moses stood at third. Manager Luis Salazar came out to argue. The base umpire consulted the home plate umpire for help, but the double call stood. Wager hit the next batter McGill, and then came out of the ball game with the bases loaded and two outs. Jesse Beal entered to face Reyes, who tripled into the right field corner to clear the bases. Reyes then scored on a Levi Hyams double making it 6-0 Hillcats.

The lone Keys run scored in the eighth off Wilson Rivera. Ross (7-4) earned the win for the Hillcats allowing five hits, walking three, and striking out two over seven blank frames. Wager (2-5) took the loss. He was charged with five earned runs on three hits, three walks, and he struck out five.

Game two of the three game series is set for tomorrow at 7pm. The Hillcats will throw RHP  Jarett Miler (7-6, 3.62) against RHP Zach Davies (5-4, 3.66) for the Keys. Listen live to the radio broadcast with Erik Wilson starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show powered by Honda/Suzuki of Lynchburg at 6:40pm.

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