Keys sweep Lynchburg Hillcats

lynchburg hillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats were swept in a double-header on Wednesday by the Frederick Keys for the second consecutive day, losing both games by a 3-0 score.

With Tuesday’s pair of loses to Frederick (31-33), the Hillcats (27-36) have dropped six straight games and have been eliminated from postseason contention in the first half. Lynchburg was shutout in three of the five games in this series, and totaled just two runs.

Game One

Frederick scored the first run in the fourth inning without the benefit of a hit. Baltimore Orioles outfielder Colby Rasmus, who is playing with the Keys on an injury rehab assignment, led off the frame with a walk. He moved to second base on a fly ball to center field and advanced to third on a groundout. Rasmus scored after Hillcats starter Eli Morgan (Loss, 2-2) uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Frederick to take a 1-0 lead.

The Keys added two more runs in the fifth. Collin Woody broke up the no-hit bid by leading off the frame with a double. T.J. Nichting followed with an RBI double to score Woody. With the bases loaded after Morgan hit back-to-back batters, Rasmus hit a sacrifice fly to give Frederick a 3-0 advantage.

The Hillcats missed out on several opportunities in the ballgame, as they had a runner thrown out at the plate in the first and the fifth inning. Lynchburg’s best scoring chance came in the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, Jorma Rodriguez popped out to shallow right field and Luke Wakamatsu struck out to end the threat.

Morgan tossed a complete game for Lynchburg, going six innings while surrendering three runs on two hits, striking out seven.

Zac Lowther (Win, 2-0) fired 5.1 scoreless innings and struck out seven. Zach Muckenhirn (Save, 4) pitched 1.2 frames for the five-out save.

Game Two

The Keys wasted little time jumping out to an early lead, as the Orioles affiliate plated a run in the first inning. Ryan McKenna led off the inning with a walk, and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Wilson Garcia followed by grooving an RBI double to the left-center gap, giving Frederick a 1-0 lead.

Lynchburg had a chance to even the score in the second. Jodd Carter doubled with one out, but was stranded after Anthony Miller and Yorma Rodriguez each grounded out to end the inning.

In the third, T.J. Nichting doubled home Jomar Reyes who hit a double of his own earlier in the inning. The Keys also scored a run on an error, pushing their advantage to 3-0.

The Hillcats had another good scoring chance go by the wayside in the third. Alexis Pantoja led off the frame with a walk, and Tre’ Gant singled to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Dillon Persinger hit into a force out that kept Pantoja at third base, and Mitch Longo and Li-Jen Chu both struck out to end the threat.

Felix Tati (Loss, 2-2), gave up three earned runs on four hits in just 2.1 innings. He walked four and also hit a batter. Ben Krauth fired 2.2 scoreless innings while fanning four, and Dalbert Siri pitched a scoreless sixth.

Matt Trowbridge (Win, 1-0) pitched three scoreless innings in relief and struck out four. Travis Seabrooke started for Frederick and matched a season-high with four innings, holding the Hillcats scoreless.

The Hillcats return to City Stadium on Thursday for their last homestand before the All-Star break, welcoming the Salem Red Sox, A-Adv. affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, for a four-game set. Right-hander Zach Plesac (4-2, 4.41) will start the series-opener for Lynchburg, opposite of Red Sox righty Tanner Houck (2-7, 6.16). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at City Stadium.

Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air at 6:20 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.

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.

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