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Holland solid in Lynchburg Hillcats win

lynchburg hillcatsA.J. Holland matched the longest outing of his career with seven innings of one-run baseball for the Lynchburg Hillcats to outduel the Winston-Salem Dash, 6-3, Monday night at City Stadium.  The Hillcats took the lead in the seventh on an RBI-double by David Rohm and later got some insurance on a Robby Hefflinger two-run home run.

Holland (2-1) avenged his loss to the Dash last week, allowing one run on seven scattered hits through seven innings Monday, while walking four and striking out two.  He stranded four runners in scoring position and was the beneficiary of solid defense that included two double plays.

The lone blemish against Holland was a solo home run from Courtney Hawkins, his seventh of the season, in the second inning.  It was the first home run Holland has allowed this year and gave the Dash (13-11) a brief lead.

The Hillcats (12-10) tied it up in the third.  Elmer Reyes singled, went first-to-third on a Matt Weaver single and waltzed home on a wild pitch later in the inning.  After that both starting pitchers took over.  Chris Beck (2-3) matched Holland frame-for-frame through the middle innings.  Beck went 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

Lynchburg finally got to Beck again in the seventh.  Kyle Kubitza and David Rohm hit back-to-back doubles with one out in the inning to take the lead.  After Stew Brase came in for Beck, Rohm was able to score from third on a wild pitch for an insurance run.

The Hillcats tacked on three more important runs in the eighth.  William Beckwith doubled home Tommy La Stella, who made his season debut Monday.  Beckwith extended his hitting streak to four games and has now reached base safely in 15-straight contests. Robby Hefflinger followed up with a blast over the centerfield wall to make it 6-1.

After Matt Chaffee pitched a scoreless seventh for his first hold of the year, John Cornely was called on to close things out. He got it done, though he did make it interesting.  Mark Tracy clubbed a two-run home run well over the left field wall and then Joey DeMichele singled to get the tying run in the on-deck circle, but Cornely got Chris Curley to fly out to end it.

The Hillcats are now 4-1 on the season against Winston-Salem and maintain their spot atop the Carolina League North Division.  They look to guarantee at least a split of this four-game series tomorrow in game two.  Jarrett Miller (1-0, 1.20 ERA) makes his second start of the season for Lynchburg, going up against Terance Marin (2-0, 4.22 ERA) for Winston-Salem.  Gates open at 5pm for the 6:05pm start.  If you can’t make it to the game, join Erik Wilson and Jake Levy on the broadcast, starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show, powered by Honda/Suzuki of Lynchburg, going live at 5:40pm on 97.9 FM The Planet and