Long ball, solid pitching key Lynchburg Hillcats
For the first time in over a week the Lynchburg Hillcats scored first tonight, and went on to win 5-1 over the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Ryan Weber made his return to the rotation with his first start since April 20. He allowed just one run in four innings. Meanwhile, Robby Hefflinger hit his league leading 11th home run of the season to put the Hillcats up for good in the sixth inning.
The Hillcats had allowed their opponents to score first in each of their previous eight games. In the third inning tonight, the ‘Cats were able to strike first. Matt Weaver tripled with one out, and Matt Lipka followed with an RBI-single.
The Blue Rocks tied the game in the bottom of the third. Weber plunked Justin Trapp with a fastball. Daniel Mateo then tripled to right-center field plating Trapp.
Weber left the game after four solid innings. He gave up one run on two hits while striking out two, and took a no-decision. He left after just four due to pitch count limitations, as he works his way back into the rotation.
James Hoyt relieved Weber in the fifth. He threw three scoreless innings, struck out five and gave up just one hit. Meanwhile the Hillcats took the lead with Hoyt on the mound.
Hefflinger hit a solo homer in the sixth to put the ‘Cats up 2-1. Then, with the help of four Wilmington errors in the seventh, the ‘Cats added three unearned runs to take a 5-1 lead.
Wilmington’s starter Kyle Zimmer entered the seventh but didn’t record an out giving up a leadoff single and allowing two batter to reach on infield errors.Antonio Cruz relieved Zimmer and allowed three runs to come around to score.
Hoyt (3-1) earned the win for Lynchuburg and Zimmer (0-4) suffered the loss for the Blue Rocks.
The Hillcats evened the series at 1-1 and improved to 24-19 on the season, while the Blue Rocks snapped their three-game winning streak, falling to 21-24.
The rubber match of the series is set for 10:35am tomorrow morning in Wilmington. The Hillcats will throw RHP Greg Ross (1-0, 4.50) against LHP John Lamb (2-4, 6.35) for Wilmington. Listen live to Erik Wilson with the call on 97.9 FM The Planet and online at lynchburg-hillcats.com