Lynchburg Hillcats blanked in series finale by Wilmington

lynchburg hillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats were shutout for the tenth time this season on Friday, falling to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 3-0.

The Hillcats (5-4, 34-42) dropped the rubber match of the five-game series to the Blue Rocks (5-3, 36-42), and fall to 3-9 at Frawley Stadium this season.

Wilmington jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. D.J. Burt singled with one out, and went first to third on a single by Gabriel Cancel. With two out, Hillcats starter Justin Garza (Loss, 3-6) uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Burt to score for a 1-0 Blue Rocks lead.

In the eighth, Cancel hit a two-run home run off of Leandro Linares, his fifth of the season, to push Wilmington’s lead to 3-0.

The Hillcats had plenty of scoring chances on Friday. Despite only collecting three hits, the Blue Rocks pitching staff walked 10 batters. Lynchburg hit into double plays in the first, third, fourth and eighth innings. They stranded 10 base runners and went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

In the ninth, Julio Pinto (Save, 3) walked two to bring the tying run to the plate, but Alexis Pantoja grounded out to end the game.

Garza pitched a career-high 6.2 innings, allowing just one run on four hits. He walked five and struck out three.

Wilmington starter Nolan Watson (Win, 1-0) fired 6.2 scoreless innings. He walked five and allowed three hits. Cory Ray walked three, but did not allow a run in 1.1 frames.

The Hillcats begin the second leg of their season-high nine-game road trip on Saturday, to kick off a four-game series against the Frederick Keys. Left-hander Sam Hentges (4-5, 3.63) will start for Lynchburg, opposite of right-hander Lucas Humpal (2-7, 4.56) for the Keys. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Nymeo field.

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

The Hillcats return home on July 4 against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, for the start of a nine-game home stand. The game on July 4 will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the gates opening at a special time of 4 p.m. The Sandbar Band, a Jimmy Buffett cover band, will be live at City Stadium performing from 4 p.m. until approximately 6:15 p.m. After the game, fans will enjoy a special Independence Day fireworks show, presented by Kroger and Westover Dairy.

For tickets and more information visit, the City Stadium box office, or call 434-528-1144.

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