Lynchburg Hillcats rolled by Potomac Nationals, 12-1
The Potomac Nationals defeated the Lynchburg Hillcats 12-1 on the back of 16 hits. Lynchburg starter Navery Moore lasted just an inning and two-thirds in the one-sided affair. He was followed by four relievers to get through opening night. Jason Martinson led the offense for Potomac with a home run, a double, and two RBI. The Hilcats managed five hits, two of which came in the first inning.
The Hillcats scored their lone run in the top of the first. Matt Lipka singled to lead off the game. He advanced to second base when Ross Heffley reached on an error. William Beckwith then grounded in to what seemed like an easy 6-3 double play, but shortstop Jason Martinson missed second base and the tag and only got Beckwith at first base. Meanwhile, Lipka never stopped running from second and scored on the play. The Hillcats led 1-0.
Martinson quickly tied the game with a solo shot in the bottom of the first.
Potomac then pulled away with six runs in the second inning. Moore gave up eight straight hits to start the inning. In the midst of the string of hits, an out was recorded on the base paths. Moore then induced a ground out to third base from clean-up hitter Kevin Keyes before walking Adrian Nieto, who had led off the frame. Then, Manager Luis Salazar called Jarrett Miller out of the bullpen ending Moore’s night. Miller walked his first batter, and got Cutter Dykstra to fly out to center to end the inning. The Nationals sent 12 batters to the plate. Michael Taylor highlighted the frame with a two-run triple. The Nationals led 7-1.
Two more runs crossed for Potomac in the fourth off Miller. He gave up a pair of doubles and was relieved with two outs in the inning. David Peterson gave up an RBI single to his first batter, scoring the inherited runner from Miller, and then struck out Billy Burns to end the inning. Lynchburg trailed 9-1.
The final three runs for the Nationals scored courtesy of three Hillcat errors in the bottom of the eighth. Ronan Pacheco committed the first of three errors botching a slow come back to the mound. After a fly out, walk, single and an E-3, two runs have come in to score. Then, on a potential inning ending double play ball, second baseman Ross Heffley’s throw to shortstop Elmer Reyes was too high. No out was recorded and a third run scored. Pacheco would eventually get out of the inning with no further damage. Potomac extended their advantage to 11 runs.
Moore (0-1) took the loss giving up seven runs on nine hits. Potomac starter Robbie Ray (1-0) gave up one earned run in five innings of work on his way to the win.
The Hillcats start the season 0-1, while the Nationals are now 1-0. Game two of the three-game series will be tomorrow at 6:35pm at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, VA. RHP A.J. Holland will start for the HIllcats against RHP Taylor Jordan for the Nationals. The Hillcats On-Deck Show powered by Honda-Suzuki of Lynchburg will go on the air at 6:10pm. All the action can be heard on 97.9 FM The Planet.