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Hillcats top Mudcats, avoid series sweep

Lynchburg HillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats salvaged the finale of the three-game set against the Carolina Mudcats, winning 5-2 on Sunday afternoon.

Despite the win over Carolina (64-67, 25-37), the Hillcats (59-68, 27-33) see their elimination number trimmed to 1 with Salem’s win over Myrtle Beach.

The Muddies struck first for a run in the first inning. Wes Rogers and Rob Henry walked, and a wild pitch moved them up to second and third. With one out, Pat McInerney plated Rogers on a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 Carolina lead.

Lynchburg countered with a three-run second inning to grab the lead for good. Jonathan Laureano walked to start the frame, and a Jodd Carter single put runners at the corners. Laureano scored on a wild pitch to even the score. Later in the inning, Steven Kwan hit a chopper to third, but Eddie Silva’s throw home skipped off the glove of catcher Nathan Rodriguez for an error, allowing Carter to score to put Lynchburg in front. Kwan would eventually score on another wild pitch, widening the gap to 3-1.

Carolina would score its second and final run in the second inning on a bases loaded walk worked by Rob Henry. After that, Lynchburg pitching combined to send down 21 consecutive Mudcats hitters. Juan Mota (Win, 3-3) retired the last 10 hitters he faced, Felix Tati retired six straight, Justin Garza fired a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Aaron Pinto (Save, 2) retired the first two batters in the ninth before Trever Morrison singled.

The Hillcats added on to the lead in the sixth inning. Will Benson led off with a walk, and Laureano cracked an RBI triple to score him.

In the seventh, Kwan doubled and scored on an RBI double from Gavin Collins to cap the scoring at 5-2.

The two hits allowed by Hillcats pitching matches a season low.

Mota worked five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on just one hit. He walked four and struck out six.

Christian Taugner (Loss, 5-10) surrendered three runs (one earned) on three hits over five innings. He walked four batters and struck out four. Matt Hardy allowed two runs (one earned) over two innings, and Cody Beckman and Michael Peterson each combined to fire a scoreless frame.

Lynchburg has completed the road portion of their 2019 regular season schedule and will now head home for the final eight games of the season, beginning on Monday against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Left-hander Juan Hillman (4-12, 4.27) will start for Lynchburg against Wilmington lefty Kris Bubic (6-3, 2.24). 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 Kids Eat Free Tuesday, 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, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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