Jones powers Lynchburg Hillcats past Fayetteville in series finale
The Hillcats (25-24) split the series with Fayetteville (23-28) for the second time this year.
The Hillcats struck first in the bottom of the first inning. Gabriel Mejia drew a lead-off walk and Nolan Jones followed him up with his Carolina League-leading 37th walk of the season to put two runners on with only one out. Oscar Gonzalez, looking to extend his 12-game hitting streak, ripped a double down the left field line to score the pair of runners, giving Lynchburg a 2-0 advantage.
In the top of the fourth, Fayetteville’s Jonathan Arauz reached base on a fielder’s choice. With two outs, Marty Costes hit an RBI double to cut the Fayetteville deficit to 2-1.
Lynchburg’s big inning came in the fifth. Mike Rivera started the frame off with a double, and a single by Mejia set two runners on base for Jones. On a 1-1 count, Jones crushed a pitch from Nivaldo Rodriguez (Loss, 0-2) for a three-run homer, his third of the year, to give the Hillcats a 5-1 lead.
Arauz answered right away for the Woodpeckers, who smacked a solo home run over the left field fence to make it 5-2 Lynchburg. The Hillcats bullpen shut down the Woodpeckers’ attack for the rest of the game as Fayetteville failed to get on the board for the rest of the game.
Juan Hillman (Win, 3-4) was solid for the Hillcats, allowing just two earned runs in 5.2 innings while striking out two batters. Dakody Clemmer Robert Broom, and Anthony Gose (Save, 3) combined for 3.2 scoreless frames while only allowing one baserunner between the three of them.
Rodriguez was tagged for five earned runs on six hits in five innings of work while drawing his second loss of the season. Cesar Rosado fired two scoreless frames in relief while Nick Hernandez tossed a clean eighth inning.
The Hillcats will enjoy an off-day on Tuesday before hitting the road to face the Frederick Keys in a five-game set. The Keys will send left-handed pitcher Cameron Bishop (0-2, 3.38) to the mound on Wednesday in his first career start against Lynchburg. The Hillcats will counter with right-hander Matt Solter (3-0, 1.02) who will look for his fourth straight win in a Hillcats uniform. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.
Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 6:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
The Hillcats will next return to City Stadium on Sunday where they will start a three-game series with the Down East Wood Ducks. Sunday, June 2 will be a Sandlot Sunday where all kids in attendance will be able to run the bases following the conclusion of the game.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.