Lynchburg Hillcats lose another heartbreaker

lynchburg hillcatsCarolina used an infield hit and two bloop singles to score the decisive run in the ninth inning and knock off Lynchburg, 4-3, at Five County Stadium Friday night. All three of the Hillcats’ RBIs came with two outs in an inning, but Lynchburg suffered its fourth straight defeat to extend its longest losing streak of the year.

Carolina scored the first run of the game on back-to-back two-out doubles in the first inning by Joey Meneses and Joe Odom.Lynchburg answered with a run in the third and two in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead.

In the third, Greg Allen singled with two outs and advanced to second on a fielding error by the right fielder. Yu-Cheng Changdrove him in with a double to left field to tie the game, 1-1.

Lynchburg again had the bases empty with two outs in the fifth inning, but Allen started another rally when he was hit by a pitch.Chang singled, and a double steal by Allen and Chang put two runners in scoring position. It marked Allen’s 20th stolen base of the season. Anthony Santander plated both Allen and Chang on a two-out single to give Lynchburg a 3-1 advantage.

Joey Meneses has long tormented Hillcats pitching, dating back to last season. In the sixth inning, he did it again with a two-run homer off Cameron Hill that drove in Joseph Daris to knot the score, 3-3.

With tonight’s game included, Meneses is 30-75 (.400) with 11 doubles, a triple and two home runs against the Hillcats in 20 career games for a slugging percentage of .653. His batting average against the rest of the Carolina League in his career is .238 (103-432).

After suffering two last-at-bat defeats against Salem earlier in the week, the Hillcats endured another against Carolina Friday.Joe Odom hit a groundball single up the middle that Chang fielded from shortstop, but he had no play at first. Stephen Gaylorentered as a pinch runner. Braxton Davidson hit a looping single to right-center field to push Gaylor to third. With two outs,Ryan Gebhardt hit a bloop single that barely landed in front of the diving right fielder Mike Papi to score Gaylor and end the game, 4-3.

Raymar Navarro (2-1) earned the win with two innings of scoreless relief out of the bullpen for Carolina. Cole Sulser (1-1) suffered the loss after giving up the winning run on three hits. He struck out four in 1 1/3 innings.

Lynchburg began the season 9-0 in road games, but the Hillcats are 1-7 in their last eight away contests…Lynchburg’s last four-game losing streak came last year from September 1-4, which also involved a sweep against Salem and a loss at Carolina…The Hillcats are 2-5 in one-run games.

Lynchburg tries to snap its four-game skid Saturday at 5 p.m. Julian Merryweather (5-1, 0.73) will start for Lynchburg. Fans can listen to the action on 93.3 FM and 1320 AM as well as www.lynchburg-hillcats.com, beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show at 4:45 p.m.

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