Lynchburg downs Carolina, 6-2, maintains wild-card lead

lynchburg hillcatsJose Martinez and Kevin Ahrens each hit two-run homers, while Blair Walters tossed six shutout innings, to propel the Lynchburg Hillcats to a 6-2 victory over Carolina at Five County Stadium Thursday night.

Through three innings, both starting pitchers showcased tremendous stuff, as each team only logged two hits in that time. However, the Hillcats (32-33, 66-69) finally cracked D.J. Brown in the fourth. Sean Godfrey singled to left, and Martinez hit his fourth home run of the year to give Lynchburg a 2-0 advantage. Martinez finished the game 3-for-4 with a double and a homer. Tyler Tewell doubled one batter later and eventually came home on a sacrifice fly by Johan Camargo to make it 3-0 in favor of the Hillcats.

In the fifth, Emerson Landoni walked with one out, and Ahrens blasted a ball off the scoreboard in left-center field for his seventh homer of the year. Ahrens added a two-out RBI single in the seventh inning to make it a 6-0 contest. Ahrens leads the team with 65 RBIs this season, including 36 with two outs in an inning.

Blair Walters (6-1) dominated on the mound for Lynchburg, holding Carolina (32-32, 62-69) to a mere two hits in six innings. Walters notched his sixth quality start in seven chances with the Hillcats. He struck out five while walking one. David Peterson had two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Brown (3-8) suffered the loss after allowing five runs in six frames.

Carolina’s two runs came in the ninth inning after Mauricio Cabrera walked the bases loaded to open the frame. Navery Moore entered and allowed two of the inherited runners to score, but he recorded the final three outs to secure the victory for the Hillcats.

Lynchburg and Carolina face off for the final time in 2014 when Daniel Watts (2-4, 4.72) opposes a fellow southpaw, Ryan Merritt (13-3, 2.62). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m., and Kyle West will take the air on 97.9 The Planet with the Hillcats On-Deck Show presented by Amtrak Virginia at 6:40 p.m.

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