Lynchburg Hillcats split two with Woodpeckers
After falling in a hard-fought first game of a double-header against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, the Lynchburg Hillcats cruised by the Woodpeckers in the second game to secure the double-header split.
Lynchburg (13-15, 45-50) fell in the first game to Fayetteville (13-14, 44-52) by a 10-6 score and won game two 8-1.
Michael Papierski was key in the first game for the Woodpeckers, going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a homer to lead his team to the win.
In game two, Lynchburg took advantage of a big second inning, scoring four runs to run past Fayetteville.
Coming off a 1-8 road trip, Lynchburg was looking to hit the reset button at home. Fayetteville forced the Hillcats to play from behind when they got the scoring started in the second. Jonathan Arauz started off the frame with a walk. Ross Adolph followed suit, and a double by Michael Papierski plated Arauz. Enmanuel Valdez followed that up with a sacrifice fly to give the Woodpeckers a 2-0 advantage.
In the fourth inning, Papierski and Valdez drew back-to-back walks to lead off the inning. Jeremy Pena reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners. A Jacob Meyers walk loaded the bases for Chandler Taylor, who walked to score another run. Jake Adams singled in two more to push the Fayetteville advantage to 5-0.
The Woodpeckers weren’t done there. A solo shot by Arauz led off the fifth. Adolph walked and then scored on another double by Papierski. Scott Manea hit a double of his own to push Papierski across the plate, moving the Woodpeckers lead to 8-0.
The Hillcats began to mount a comeback in the fifth inning. Will Benson drew a walk, then Jodd Carter singled to put two aboard. Tyler Friis ripped a triple to plate both runners. Then a wild pitch allowed Friis to score from third, and it was 8-3 Woodpeckers after five innings.
Wilbis Santiago started the sixth with a double. Oscar Gonzalez singled to put runners on the corners, and Mitch Reeves hit a single to score Santiago. Benson reached on a fielder’s choice, then Gavin Collins plated two more with a double. Lynchburg ended the sixth down 8-6.
Then Fayetteville put the Hillcats away for good in the seventh. Adolph singled to lead off the frame, and Papierski’s two-run homer killed the Hillcats’ momentum, giving them a 10-6 lead they’d hang onto for the rest of the game.
Justin Garza (Loss, 4-8) was tagged for five earned runs on five hits across 3.2 innings in the start for Lynchburg. Dakody Clemmer allowed three runs in 1.1 frames, and Felix Tati surrendered a pair of runs in two innings of work.
Tyler Ivey was excellent in his short start for the Woodpeckers, blanking Lynchburg over three frames. Jojanse Torres (Win, 4-0) was tagged for six earned runs in four innings of work,.
The Hillcats got going in the second frame. Reeves reached on a walk and Benson followed him with a single. Jonathan Laureano then doubled to plate Reeves. Carter’s single scored Benson. An error by Fayetteville first baseman Adams allowed Laureano to score, and a groundball by Santiago scored Carter to give Lynchburg a 4-0 lead by the time the dust had settled in the second inning.
With two away in the third inning, Laureano roped a triple. Carter knocked him in with a bunt single, pushing the Hillcats lead to 5-0.
Fayetteville got on the board for the first time in the fifth inning. Scott Schreiber started off the frame with a single. Peña roped a double to score him to cut the deficit to 5-1.
But the Hillcats punched right back in the bottom of the fifth. Reeves and Benson each singled to start the inning. Luke Wakamatsu hit a single of his own to score Reeves, and Kwan’s single after him scored Benson and Wakamatsu to extend the Lynchburg advantage to 8-1. The Hillcats would hang onto that edge thanks to a strong performance from their bullpen.
Aaron Pinto, making his first career minor league start, tossed 2.1 scoreless innings for the Hillcats. Manuel Alvarez (Win, 1-0) allowed one run across two innings in his Lynchburg debut. Randy Valladares and Jonathan Teaney combined for 2.2 innings of shutout baseball in the back end of the bullpen.
Cody Deason (Loss, 0-2) coughed up five runs (four earned) in the start for Fayetteville. Leovany Rodriguez was tagged for three runs in two frames of work.
The Hillcats face off against the Woodpeckers in the series finale on Friday. Juan Mota (0-0, 0.00) will make his Hillcats debut while the Woodpeckers will send right-hander Luis Garcia (3-1, 2.89) to the mound. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air beginning at 6:20 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.
Homestand highlights include Fantastic Friday, Sparkling Saturday, and Sandlot Sunday. Friday’s game is the Moon Landing Anniversary Celebration with postgame fireworks presented by Pepsi and Saturday’s game is Faith and Family Night with postgame fireworks presented by Kona Ice.
For tickets and more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, the City Stadium box office, or call 434-528-1144.