Lynchburg Hillcats see four-game winning streak come to end
The Lynchburg Hillcats had their four-game winning streak snapped on a 7-2 loss to the Frederick Keys Tuesday night in the first of a three-game series at City Stadium. Jarett Miller went five scoreless innings before giving up two runs with two outs in the sixth to take his first loss of the season. Matt Lipka hit a two-run double with two outs in the ninth to spoil the shutout.
The Hillcats (20-16) scored 37 runs in their four-game sweep of Carolina entering Tuesday and looked poised to continue their hot hitting, loading the bases in the first inning. Matt Lipka and David Rohm each singled and Kyle Kubitza walked to load the bases with two outs, but Matt Weaver grounded out to first to end the threat.
After the first inning, Keys (20-17) starter Eduardo Rodriguez really settled in, throwing seven scoreless innings. Rodriguez (4-2) scattered five hits and walked three while striking out six. After the first he allowed multiple base runners in just one frame and that was the only inning a Hillcat got past first base.
Miller was able to match Rodriguez through five scoreless frames, but ran into trouble with two outs in the sixth. With two on and two out, Miller walked Zane Chavez to load the bases then missed with a payoff pitch to Nicky Delmonico to snap the scoreless tie. An infield single up the middle off the bat of Allan de San Miguel plated another run and made it 2-0 Frederick after six innings.
Miller (3-1) was finished after six frames. He gave up two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out four. The Keys added a run off Ryan Weber in the seventh when a two-out ground ball went under the glove of Kubitza at third to allow Johnny Ruettiger to score.
The Keys broke the game open late with a four-run ninth. Christian Walker, in his third game since being called up to Frederick, hit a three-run home run, his first as a Key, off Nate Hyatt. Walker got fresh life after Kubitza dropped a pop fly in foul territory earlier in the at bat.
The Hillcats got a two-out rally going in the ninth. Elmer Reyes and Luis De La Cruz both got on board and Lipka drove one off the left-center field wall to plate both and break up the shutout, but would get no closer.
The ‘Cats look to get back in the win column on Wednesday. Game two of the three-game set with Frederick is set for6:05pm with gates opening at 5pm. It’s a Win-Win Wednesday, presented by WLNI, which means fans will get a free ticket to our next Wednesday home game as they walk through the gates. A.J. Holland (3-1, 3.00) takes the hill for Lynchburg, facing off with lefty Tim Berry (2-2, 2.95) for the Keys. If you can’t make it to the game, join Erik Wilson and Jake Levy for all the play-by-play action starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show, powered by Honda/Suzuki of Lynchburg, going live at5:40pm on 97.9 FM The Planet and lynchburg-hillcats.com.