Lynchburg Hillcats roughed up by Winston-Salem

lynchburg hillcatsMark Pope gave up nine runs, and the Lynchburg Hillcats pitching staff allowed a season-high 20 hits in a 15-6 loss to the Winston-Salem Dash Wednesday night.  It’s the highest single-game hit total allowed by a team in the Carolina League this season.  Ross Heffley hit his first home run of the year for Lynchburg and drove in three runs to pace the Hillcats offense.

The Hillcats (13-11) trailed right from the shoot, giving up two runs in the first inning.  Two soft singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out for Courtney Hawkins, who grounded a slow roller to Fernando De Los Santos at shortstop.  De Los Santos, trying to move quickly to turn a double play, bobbled the ball and everybody reached safely as Joey DeMichele scored.  Grant Buckner followed with an RBI-groundout to make it 2-0 through a half inning.

The bases were reloaded in the second inning for the Dash (14-12) when DeMichele hit one to deep left that kicked off Robby Hefflinger’s glove, the second Hillcat error in as many innings, to allow a run to score.  The Hillcats answered with three runs in the bottom of the second.  De Los Santos singled home a run with two outs then Heffley hit his first homer of the year over the left field wall to make it 4-3.  Heffley entered the game with two RBI on the year before driving in three runs on Wednesday night.

The Dash added a run in the third inning and scored four in the fourth, capped off by a two-run home run by Jeremy Farrell. It was Pope’s league-leading fifth home run allowed on the year and that was the final hitter he faced in the game, making it 9-3.  Pope (0-2) gave up nine runs, seven earned, on eight hits and four walks while striking out one.

The scoring halted for two full innings before the Hillcats got it going again, scoring a pair in the sixth inning.  Jeremy Erben came on in relief for Winston-Salem and walked the bases loaded before a Heffley sacrifice fly to right.  Erben gave up a single to the next hitter Tommy La Stella to let in another run before being pulled after recording just one out.  Max Peterson came on and walked William Beckwith to reload the bases, but was able to strike out Hefflinger and Kyle Kubitza back to back to keep the Dash up 9-5.  The Hillcats heart of the order went a combined 1-for-13 with an RBI.

The Dash added six more runs off the Hillcats bullpen, including a four run ninth inning off Matt Chaffee, to secure the win. The ‘Cats still lead the series 2-1 and the season series 5-2.

Lynchburg looks to win the series in the series finale night.  First pitch is 6:05pm with gates opening at 5pm.  It’s another Theme Thursday at City Stadium with Super Hero Night III, presented by Untamed Worlds.  There will be super entertainment between innings and fans dressed in super hero apparel will get half off admission.  It’s also Thursday Cheers, with live pregame music and $2 drink specials, presented by Miller Lite, Yuengling & 97.9 FM The Planet.  Navery Moore (1-3, 7.71) takes the hill for Lynchburg, facing off with Bryan Blough (1-3, 5.67) for the Dash.  If you can’t make it to the ballpark, join Erik Wilson and Jake Levy for the broadcast starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show, powered by Honda/Suzuki of Lynchburg, starting at 5:40pm.

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