Lynchburg Hillcats outdueled in loss to Frederick Keys
In a game that was close until the very end, a two-run homer by Brett Cumberland proved to be the difference as the Frederick Keys defeated the Lynchburg Hillcats 3-1 in the series opener on Saturday night.
Lynchburg (14-16, 46-51) went just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position while Frederick (10-20, 39-60) was 1-for-6 in the same situations.
In the first inning, Lynchburg took the 1-0 lead when Will Benson knocked in Tyler Freeman with a sacrifice fly.
Fredrick answered back in the second stanza. Brett Cumberland singled his way aboard, and a walk by Cadyn Grenier followed by a fielder’s choice pushed Cumberland to third base. A throwing error by Luke Wakamatsu allowed Cumberland to score, tying the game at 1-1.
The score would hold until the eighth inning, when Riley Echols (Loss, 3-1) came out in relief of Juan Hillman. Zach Jarrett singled to lead off the frame, and Cumberland’s two-run blast gave the Keys a 3-1 lead. Frederick shut down the Hillcats threat in the ninth as Lynchburg stranded the bases loaded.
Wilbis Santiago continued to swing a hot bat, going 3-for-4 in the contest. Mitch Reeves also went 3-for-4.
Hillman fired seven innings while allowing just one unearned run, striking out a career-high 10 batters in the start for the Hillcats. Echols allowed two runs in an inning of work, and Evan Mitchell struck out the side in a perfect ninth inning.
Ofelky Peralta got the start for Frederick. His outing was cut short after completing one inning, exiting with an apparent injury in the second inning. He surrendered one run on three hits. Scott Burke blanked the Hillcats over four innings. Zach Matson (Win, 1-0) spun three scoreless innings and Tim Naughton (Save, 4) slammed the door in the ninth.
The Hillcats and Keys continue their series on Sunday in a matinée affair. The Keys will hand the ball to right-hander Brenan Hanifee (6-9, 4.40) while Lynchburg has yet to announce its starter for the game. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.
Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 2:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
Sunday’s game is a Sandlot Sunday, where all kids in attendance will be able to run the bases following the conclusion of the contest.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.