Keys top Lynchburg Hillcats, snap ‘Cats six-game winning streak

lynchburg hillcatsFrederick Keys starter Alex Wells (Win, 6-7) was dominant early, and coupled with a pair of big innings from the Keys, were too much for the Lynchburg Hillcats to overcome, in a 8-3 loss on Friday.

The Hillcats (61-59, 32-21) see their season-long six-game winning streak come to a close, as they were held off the board until the seventh inning by the Frederick (58-64, 23-30).

The Keys jumped on the board in the first inning against Hillcats starter Eli Morgan (loss, 7-6). Frederick sent eight men to the plate in the first, and scored runs on an RBI double from Randolph Gassaway, and run-scoring singles from Jomar Reyes and Chris Clare, to give the Keys a 3-0 edge.

Frederick added a four-run frame in the fourth. With two outs, Stuart Levy reached on a throwing error from Emmanuel Tapia, trying to feed Morgan at first base. After a walk to Cole Billingsley, Preston Palmeiro launched his 16th home run of the season, a three run shot to make it 6-0. Wilson Garcia then made it back-to-back long balls for Frederick, sending his 20th of the season over the right field fence to give the Keys a 7-0 advantage.

Morgan lasted just 3.2 innings, gave up seven runs (three earned), on seven hits, walked two and struck out two.

Meanwhile, Wells was excellent early for Frederick. The lefty retired the first 13 hitters he faced, before Nolan Jones ended the perfect game bid with a single to center in the fifth.

After the Keys added a run in the top of the seventh, the Hillcats broke up the shutout in home half of the inning. Mitch Longo led off the inning with a solo shot to right field, his eighth home run of the season. Jones then doubled to center with two away, and Dillon Persinger followed with a home run of his own, a two-run blast to left, to trim the deficit to 8-3.

That would end the night for Wells who worked 6.2 innings, giving up three runs on four hits, and struck out six.

Steve Klimek and Tyler Erwin would come out of the bullpen for Frederick and help the Keys to the finish line with a combined 2.1 scoreless innings.

The middle game of the series is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, when lefty Kirk McCarty (0-0, 0.00) makes his second start for the Hillcats, opposed by Keys righty Mike Baumann (7-3, 4.04).

Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air beginning at 5:50 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.

It’s Sparkling Saturday at City Stadium, featuring a post-game fireworks display, courtesy of Food Lion. There will also be a pre-game ceremony for General Manager Ronnie Roberts, who is retiring after 28 seasons in Lynchburg, which will begin at 5:30 p.m.

For tickets and more infromation visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, the City Stadium box office, or call 434-528-1144.

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