Lynchburg Hillcats rally late to top Potomac, 11-6
The Lynchburg Hillcats scored seven runs in the final two innings this afternoon on their way to an 11-6 come back win over the Potomac Nationals. Robby Hefflinger led the offense with two home runs, his second and third of the season. William Beckwith chimed in with a two-run shot in the ninth inning as well. The win gave the Hillcats the series win 2-1 over the Nationals opening weekend.
Hefflinger launched a blast out to center field to leadoff the second inning. Fernando De Los Santos and Cory Brownsten added RBI-doubles later in the frame and the Hillcats led early 3-0.
The Nationals battled back with two runs in the bottom of the second. Adrian Sanchez tripled in Cutter Dykstra who drew his first of three walks on the day. Then, Blake Kelso doubled home Snachez. The Hillcats lead was cut one run.
It was another short outing for a Hillcat starter. Mark Pope lasted just 3.2 innings. He gave up three runs on six hits, walked four and struck out two. Pope gave up an RBI-single to Caleb Ramsey in the fourth inning and then walked a batter before being relieved by James Hoyt. Hoyt retired his only batter in the fourth to get out of the inning with the score tied 3-3.
Hoyt went on to give up two runs in the fifth inning. Jason Martinson homered to lead off the inning and walked the next three batters in a row. The first walk scored on a wild pitch, but a strikeout, and a 1-6-3 double play ended the inning without any more runs scoring. The Nationals led 5-3.
The Hillcats and Nationals traded runs in the sixth to make it 6-4.
Down by two heading into the eighth inning, the Hillcats came back with three runs to regain the lead. Elmer Reyes delivered the go ahead RBI, with a two-run double to left-center field. Then, in the ninth, Hefflinger and Beckwith each ht two-run homers to give the Hillcats some breathing room. The ‘Cats led 11-6.
Matt Chaffee (1-0) earned the win for Lynchburg tossing the last 2.1 innings. He walked one and struck out three, without allowing any hits or runs. Derek Self (0-1) suffered the loss giving up four runs, three earned on three hits. He walked two and struck out one.
The Hillcats are now 2-1 on the season and sit in second place behind the 3-0 Frederick Keys in the Carolina League Northern Division.