Lynchburg Hillcats get W to start second half
The Lynchburg Hillcats used two home runs to power past the Winston-Salem Dash, 5-4, Friday night at City Stadium to open the second half of the Carolina League season. Robby Hefflinger hit his league-leading 19th home run of the season and Will Skinner hit the eventual game-winning home run in the sixth. Greg Ross made his first appearance out of the bullpen with four scoreless innings to get the win.
The Hillcats (1-0, 37-33) took an early lead with a two-run second inning. Back-to-back one-out walks set up an RBI-single for Skinner and an RBI-fielder’s choice for Matt Weaver to make it 2-0 Hillcats through two innings.
The Dash (0-1, 38-33) used two home runs in the third to take the lead. Grant Buckner hit a three-run home run and Josh Richmond followed up with his first long ball of the season to make it 4-2 Dash mid three.
Hefflinger crushed his home run to deep left field, a two run shot, in the bottom of the inning to tie the game. Levi Hyams, who made his Carolina League debut Friday, walked ahead of Hefflinger and scored on the blast.
The game remained deadlocked over the next three innings as starters Ryan Weber and Jake Cose traded zeros. both were lifted after the fifth inning with the game still tied.
Ross (4-3), who made eight starts this season before joining the bullpen, gave up just one hit the rest of the way while the Dash bullpen made one costly mistake. Brandon Hardin (2-1) had set down the first two he faced but left one down the middle for Skinner, who crushed it well over the fence in left-center field, to put the Hillcats up for good.
The Hillcats look to claim the series Saturday against the Dash. Jarett Miller (5-3, 3.72) takes the mound for Lynchburg against Bryan Blough (5-4, 5.54) for the Dash. First pitch is set for 6:05pm with gates opening at 5pmand there are fireworks after the game at City Stadium. If you can’t make it to the game, join Erik Wilson and Jake Levy for all the play-by-play action on 97.9 FM The Planet and lynchburg-hillcats.com