Lynchburg Hillcats sweep two from Frederick Keys
The Lynchburg Hillcats completed a sweep of a double-header on Wednesday night against the Frederick Keys, shutting out the Orioles affiliate in Game One, 8-0, and winning the the night cap in comeback fashion, 6-4.
The Hillcats (9-5, 41-40) have now won a season-high five consecutive games after sweeping Frederick (5-9, 34-49) in the three-game set.
The shutout win in Game One was Lynchburg’s sixth of the season.
Lynchburg jumped out to an early lead, plating two in the first inning.
Tyler Freeman doubled to start the game and moved to third on a single from Nolan Jones. Oscar Gonzalez drove in Freeman with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. Later in the frame with two out, Jodd Carter drove home Jones with an RBI knock of his own, pushing the lead to 2-0.
The game stayed that way until the sixth, when Lynchburg scored four times.
Steven Kwan walked and Freeman singled with two out to get a rally started. That brought up Jones, who belted a three-run home run, his seventh of the year, to widen the gap to 5-0. Oscar Gonzalez made it 6-0 Hillcats when he went back-to-back with Jones, his sixth blast of the year.
Lynchburg went back-to-back a second time in the seventh. Gavin Collins, his fourth, and Carter, his tenth, each lifted solo homers to give the Indians affiliate an 8-0 lead, capping the scoring.
Freeman, Jones, Carter, Kwan and Gonzalez each picked up multi-hit contests.
Hector Hernandez (Win, 1-1) worked 5.2 shutout innings. He allowed just three hits and struck out seven. Felix Tati picked up the final four outs without issue.
Brenan Hanifee (Loss, 5-8) surrendered six earned runs on nine hits in 5.2 frames. Cameron Ming allowed two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings.
Trailing 4-3 entering the seventh inning, Lynchburg mounted a comeback against former teammate Kieran Lovegrove (Loss, 0-1).
The former Indians farmhand walked Steven Kwan and Nolan Jones, and hit Tyler Freeman with a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. In came Tim Naughton, who uncorked a wild pitch to score Kwan, knotting the game at 3-3. Later in the inning, Oscar Gonzalez stroked a two-run single to left, scoring both Jones and Freeman for a 6-4 Hillcats lead to cap the scoring.
Lynchburg tacked on its first run of the game in the first inning. Jones doubled with one out and eventually scored on an RBI single from Will Benson for a 1-0 lead.
Frederick answered win a run in the bottom of the first to tie the game. Zach Jarrett reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on an RBI knock from Jomar Reyes.
The Hillcats followed with a run in the second. With the bases loaded, Kwan lifted a sacrifice fly to left field, putting Lynchburg ahead again at 3-2.
The Keys went ahead 3-2 in the fourth. Ryan Ripken led off with a single, and Reyes connected on a two-run home run, his fifth of the year, to open up an advantage for Frederick.
Reyes would add to the Keys lead again in the fifth. The all-time leader in games played for Frederick’s organization singled home Jarrett, who singled and moved to second after Ripken walked. Reyes drove in all four Frederick runs in Game Two.
The Hillcats began to mount a comeback in the sixth. Gavin Collins and Jonathan Laureano singled, and a wild pitch moved them both up to second and third base, respectively. Mike Rivera plated Collins with an RBI ground out to trim the deficit to 4-3, before the big three-run seventh inning.
Anderson Polanco started for Lynchburg in the night cap. He allowed three earned runs on six hits in 3.1 frames. Dakody Clemmer gave up a run on two hits in 1.2 innings, while Riley Echols (Win, 3-0) worked a scoreless sixth. Yapson Gomez (Save, 3) worked around two hits to nail down the win in the seventh by keeping Frederick off the board.
Cameron Bishop started for the Keys, working five innings and allowing two runs on six hits, striking out four. Lovegrove gave up four earned runs on one inning, while Naughton pitched a scoreless seventh.
The Hillcats now head home to face the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, A-Adv. affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, for a three-game series at City Stadium. Left-hander Juan Hillman (3-7, 3.05) will start for Lynchburg, while the Birds have not yet announced a starter. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 6:20 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
Thursday will be a Fourth of July extravaganza and the start of Military Appreciation Weekend. Thursday’s game includes a jersey auction, a hot dog eating contest, post-game fireworks, and much more. Aloha Weekend festivities also include Fantastic Friday, Sparkling Saturday and Sandlot Sunday. Friday’s game will feature a hat giveaway to the first 1,000 fans and post-game fireworks presented by Foster Fuels and KD Country. Saturday’s post-game fireworks display is presented by MemberOne.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.