Loopstok homers in Hillcats doubleheader split
Lynchburg split a doubleheader with Wilmington, winning 5-2 before falling 2-1 at City Stadium Tuesday night. Sicnarf Loopstok had a home run in the first game and an RBI double in game two to increase his team-leading totals to seven homers and 34 RBIs.
In game one, the Hillcats claimed a 2-0 lead early when the first two hitters both came around to score. Ka’ai Tom doubled off the wall in center to drive in Sam Haggerty from first. Two batters later, Willi Castro doubled down the line to left, scoring Ka’ai Tom and giving the Hillcats a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately for Lynchburg, Martin Cervenka was thrown out trying to score from first on that play.
In the second, the Blue Rocks answered when Roman Collins hammered a solo home run over fence in right to bring his team within one. Both offenses went on hiatus until the bottom of the sixth when Loopstok skied a ball over the 390-foot sign in straightaway center field for a two-run homer that also brought in Ka’ai Tom. Later in the inning Daniel Salters picked up his 17th RBI of the season when his sac fly plated Yonathan Mendoza to give Lynchburg a 5-1 lead. Cody Jones scored on a wild pitch for Wilmington in the top of the seventh.
For Lynchburg, Triston McKenzie scraped together a win despite making it through just five innings. He allowed one run on four hits and tied a season high of five walks. For Wilmington, Colin Rodgers went the distance of the shortened affair, allowing five runs on five hits in a six-inning losing effort.
In game two, Wilmington flipped the script and jumped out to a first-inning lead. Roman Collins doubled to left field to bring in Nicky Lopezand Chris DeVito to give the Blue Rocks a 2-0 lead. For the third straight game, the Hillcats manufactured a first-inning run. Loopstok lined a ball past the third baseman at the hot corner to score Sam Haggerty. Neither offense produced another run, and the Hillcats fell 2-1 despite holding Wilmington to three hits.
A bullpen game for both teams, Yunior Marte pitched well for the Blue Rocks. He allowed one run on five hits over 3 2/3 innings. Richard Lovelady earned the victory. Coming in relief, he was perfect for 3 1/3, retiring five of the 10 batters he faced via strikeout. Dominic DeMasi(2-1) took the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in four frames.
Lynchburg and Wilmington conclude their four game set Wednesday at City Stadium when Shao-Ching Chiang (7-3, 2.57) takes on right-hander A.J. Puckett (5-5, 4.24) at 6:30 p.m. It’s Jimmy Buffett presented by John Stewart Walker, Inc. and Oldies 103.9 & 106.9 FM. There will be live pregame and postgame music, and one lucky fan will receive a free trip to Myrtle Beach courtesy of VisitMyrtleBeach.com. Gates open at 5:30, and the game can be heard live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com.