Lynchburg falls 8-3 to Frederick Keys
A capacity crowd of 5,962 fans were on hand at City Stadium Thursday night as the Lynchburg Hillcats fell, 8-3, to the Frederick Keys. Blaine Sims gave up seven runs in five innings of work to drop his fifth-straight start since joining the Hillcats’ rotation in early June. Kyle Kubitza, Emerson Landoni and Will Skinner all delivered RBI hits for Lynchburg in the loss.
After a scoreless first, the Hillcats (3-9, 39-42) fell behind in the second. Christian Walker led off the frame with a double, one of his three two-baggers on the night, to set the table for the Keys (6-8, 40-43) and eventually scored on a seeing-eye single from Jason Esposito.
The Hillcats answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the second. Trent Moses singled to start the inning and, after advancing on a groundout, scored from second on a two-out single by Landoni, evening the score at 1-1 after two innings.
Frederick would score at least a run in each of the next four innings, starting with a four-run third. Michael Ohlman, who is back-to-back Carolina League Player of the Week, clubbed a three-run homer to ignite the four-run frame.
The Keys started the fourth with three straight hits, including an RBI knock from Johnny Reutiger. Esposito lifted a sacrifice fly to right field in the fifth to plate Walker again and Jerome Pena doubled home a run in the sixth to make it 8-1 Frederick.
All but the last run were charged to Sims’ line. Sims (0-5) gave up seven runs, six earned, on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Brady Wager (1-3) pitched seven strong innings for Frederick, allowing three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.
The Hillcats got their final two runs with two gone in the sixth. Moses walked then scored on a Kubitza double off the left field wall. Skinner followed up with a slow roller down the third base line that he was able to beat it out and Kubitza was able to score from second without a throw.
That capped the scoring as the Hillcats fell for the second straight night. They look to rebound Friday in game two with the Keys. A.J. Holland (4-4, 4.37) takes the mound for the ‘Cats against Zach Davies (4-3, 3.44) for Frederick. It’s Wrestling Night at City Stadium with a special appearance from WWE legend George “The Animal” Steele. Gates open at 6pm for a 7:05pm first pitch, but if you can’t make it to the game join Erik Wilson and Jake Levy for the play-by-play starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show, powered by Honda/Suzuki of Lynchburg, on 97.9 FM The Planet and lynchburg-hillcats.com