Lynchburg Hillcats lose late lead, fall to Carolina in 10, 5-3

lynchburg hillcatsWes Parsons tossed seven strong innings, striking out six in the longest start by a Hillcats pitcher this season, but Lynchburg couldn’t hold a 3-2 lead entering the ninth inning and eventually fell to Carolina, 5-3 in 10 innings, at Calvin Falwell FieldTuesday night.

Parsons allowed one run in each of the first two frames, but shut down the Mudcats from that point forward, holding Carolina to a total of seven hits. Parsons did not walk a single hitter, and he struck out at least six for his fourth consecutive start. Parsons left the game with the Hillcats in front, 3-2.

With one out in the ninth, Anthony Gallas singled for Carolina to put the tying run on base. Jerrud Sabourin grounded a ball to the right side, and Peraza had it glance off his mitt for an error. Alex Monsalve then singled to right field to load the bases. James Roberts grounded out to Nate Hyatt on a check-swing, slow-roller up the first base line to tie the game, 3-3.

In the 10th, Carolina took its first lead since the second inning using another Lynchburg error to its advantage. Luigi Rodriguez singled to lead off the extra frame. Then, a throwing error by Nate Hyatt allowed Rodriguez to advance to third on a bunt single by Ollie Linton. The extra base gave Rodriguez an opportunity to score on a passed ball with Erik Gonzalez batting and give the Mudcats a 4-3 lead. Jeremy Lucas followed with an RBI single for his fifth RBI of the series, and Carolina took the contest by a 5-3 count. It marked Lynchburg’s first defeat in an extra-inning affair in 2014.

Nate Hyatt (2-1) took the loss after blowing his third save of the season, even though two of the three runs he allowed were unearned. Rob Nixon (1-2) earned the victory out of the bullpen with two scoreless innings, while Louis Head picked up his league-leading seventh save of the year.

Lynchburg faced a 2-0 deficit early in the contest but erased it in the bottom of the second. Tyler Tewell drove a first-pitch fastball to right for a leadoff single, and Eric Garcia tripled down the right field line to cut the margin in half. An RBI groundout by Levi Hyams deadlocked the score at 2-all.

The Hillcats took their first lead of the game in the fifth. Daniel Castro lined a one-out single to right. He then stole his second base of the season and advanced to third on a balk by Mudcats starter Ryan Merritt. Peraza hit a sacrifice fly to center field two batters later to plate Castro and give the Hillcats a 3-2 advantage.

Early in the game, Joe Odom helped keep the Mudcats offense at bay by throwing out three potential basestealers. Odom caught Yhoxian Medina and Gonzalez trying to swipe second, while he also pegged Gallas attempting to steal third base in the contest.

Lynchburg will close its seven-game homestand Wednesday at 6:05pm. Lucas Sims (2-3, 4.18) will toe the slab for the Hillcats against Cole Sulser (0-3, 3.86). It’s a Win-Win Wednesday presented by WLNI. Fans who attend the finale against the Mudcats will receive a free ticket to the next Wednesday home game on May 28. Gates open at 5pm.

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