Keys sweep Lynchburg Hillcats in doubleheader
With Tuesday’s pair of loses to Frederick (29-33), the Hillcats (27-34) fall to a season-low seven games below the .500 mark.
Frederick scored the first run in the bottom of the first inning, as Ryan McKenna blasted a lead off solo home run, his seventh of the season, to give the Keys a 1-0 lead.
The Keys added another run in the third. McKenna and Preston Palmeiro hit back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners with one out. Wilson Garcia followed by hitting a sacrifice fly to score McKenna, pushing Frederick’s lead to 2-0.
Lynchburg scored their only run of the game in the sixth. Angel Lopez led off the frame with a double, and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Dillon Persinger to cut the lead in half, 2-1.
In the top of the seventh, Lynchburg stranded the tying run at second base when Lopez grounded out to the end game, as the Keys hung on for the 2-1 win.
Tanner Tully (Loss, 2-7) tossed a complete game, allowing two runs on six hits in six innings. He matched a season-high with seven strikeouts.
Keys starter Mike Baumann (Win, 4-0), surrendered just one run on six hits in 5.2 innings. Tyler Erwin (Save, 5), threw 1.1 scoreless innings, picking up the four-out save.
Keys starter Lucas Humpal (Win, 2-6) took a perfect game into the sixth inning. After retiring the first 17 hitters of the game, Alexis Pantoja broke up the bid with a single to center field.
Frederick opened the scoring in the first inning. Ryan McKenna led off the inning with a single and moved to second base on a passed ball. Orioles outfielder Colby Rasmus, who is playing for the Keys on a rehab assignment, lined a single to center field to score McKenna and give Frederick an early 1-0 lead.
The Keys added to their lead with three runs in the fourth. Preston Palmeiro walked, Wilson Garcia was hit by a pitch and Jomar Reyes singled to load the bases with nobody out. Collin Woody hit a sacrifice fly to score Palmeiro to make it a 2-0 game. Later in the inning, Alejandro Juvier, ripped a two-run single to plate Garcia and Reyes, pushing Frederick’s lead to 4-0.
The Orioles affiliate would go on to score four more runs in the sixth inning to blow the game open at 8-0.
Lynchburg ended the shutout bid in the seventh when Dillon Persinger scored on an error, after singling to lead off the inning.
Micah Miniard (Loss, 1-2) surrendered four runs on five hits in three innings. He walked four and struck out four. Billy Strode and Luis Jimenez each allowed two earned runs in relief.
Humpal tossed six shutout innings. He allowed just one hit and struck out six.
The Hillcats have now lost nine of their last ten games.
Lynchburg and Frederick will wrap up their five-game series on Wednesday with another double-header. In Game One, right-hander Eli Morgan (2-1, 3.22) will start for the Hillcats, against left-hander Zac Lowther (1-0, 0.90) who gets the call for the Keys. In Game Two, righty Felix Tati (2-1, 4.05) will make the start for Lynchburg, while Frederick has not yet announced a starter. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Nymeo Field.
Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air at 4:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
The Hillcats return to City Stadium on Thursday for their last homestand before the All-Star break against the Salem Red Sox, A-Adv. affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Thursday is Thirsty Thursday, featuring $2 Miller Lite and Yuengling drafts. The first 1,000 fans through the gates for Friday’s game will receive a pair of Hillcats sunglasses. Saturday is Sparking Saturday, which includes a post-game fireworks display. Sandlot Sunday features post-game kids run the bases, family catch in the outfield and wiffle ball.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144. or stop by the City Stadium box office.