Lynchburg Hillcats overcome Dash in extra innings
The Hillcats (34-36, 2-1) walked 10 times against Winston-Salem (39-28, 1-2), one shy of matching their season-high.
Tied at 6-6 entering the 10th inning, the Hillcats went ahead for good. With Gavin Collins starting the inning at second base, Mitch Reeves belted a go-ahead two-run home run, his seventh of the season and first with Lynchburg, to put the club in front 8-6 and cap the scoring.
Yapson Gomez came on in the bottom of the 10th and retired two hitters while Riley Echols (Save, 1) threw one pitch to record the final out and preserve the win.
Lynchburg plated the game’s first run in the first inning. Steven Kwan led off the game with a single and moved to second base on a walk. With one away, Nolan Jones roped an RBI single to center field, scoring Kwan for a 1-0 Hillcats lead.
In the second inning, Lynchburg added another run. Will Benson worked a leadoff walk and stole second base. After advancing to third on a groundout, Benson scored on an RBI ground out off the bat of Reeves for a 2-0 advantage.
The Indians affiliate widened the gap in the fourth, adding three runs. Jones reached on an infield single and both Oscar Gonzalez and Benson walked to load the basses. With Collins batting, Dash catcher Carlos Perez uncorked a snap throw to first that went down the right field line, allowing both Jones and Gonzalez to score. Later in the at-bat, Collins hit an RBI single to plate Benson, and the Hillcats led Winston-Salem 5-0.
The Dash sent eight hitters to the plate and scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Jameson Fisher worked a leadoff walk and Zach Remillard singled to put two aboard. Craig Dedelow roped an RBI single to score Fisher and get Winston on the board. A batter later, Perez brought home Remillard with a single. After Jordan George walked, Travis Moniot grooved a two-run single to center, scoring Dedelow and Perez to make it a 5-4 contest.
In the fifth, the Hillcats got a run back. Tyler Freeman worked a walk and stole second base. With two away, Benson drove him home to give Lynchburg a two-run cushion again at 6-4.
Winston drew closer in the bottom of the fifth. Steele Walker and Fisher reached on back-to-back doubles, with Fisher’s two base hit producing a run to bring the Dash within 6-5.
Still leading 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth, Fisher hit a lead off home run against Felix Tati, to knot the game at 6-6 and force extras.
Reeves drove in three runs on the night. Eight of the nine Hillcats starters worked at least one walk on Saturday.
Matt Solter started for Lynchburg and allowed four earned runs on four hits in four innings, walking four. Dakody Clemmer gave up just a run on two hits in three innings of work. Tati tossed a scoreless ninth after allowing the game-tying homer in the eighth innings to earn the win.
Zach Lewis started for Winston-Salem and lasted three frames. He gave up five runs (four earned) on four hits, walking four. Kevin Escorcia and Will Kincanon each allowed a run in two innings. Luis Ledo fired 1.1 scoreless frames and Bennett Sousa (Loss, 0-1) surrendered the homer to Reeves in the tenth.
The two teams will conclude their series on Sunday with the finale of the four-game set. Lynchburg will send left-hander Juan Hillman (3-6, 2.93) to the mound against Winston-Salem righty Jorgan Cavanerio (3-0, 3.31). First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at BB&T Ballpark.
Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 1:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
Lynchburg returns home on Monday, June 24 to begin a seven-game homestand starting with the Frederick Keys. Homestand highlights include Kids-Eat-Free Tuesday, Winning Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, fireworks shows on Friday and Saturday, and Grateful Dead Night featuring a pre-game cover band performance on Friday, June 28.