Lynchburg Hillcats swept by Frederick Keys in Friday doubleheader
The Hillcats (26-26) have now dropped to third place in the Carolina League North Division after Frederick (27-25) leapfrogged Lynchburg with a pair of wins.
Lynchburg went a combined 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position throughout Friday’s double-header.
Frederick jumped out to an early lead, scoring a run in each of the first three innings.
In the first, Cole Billingsley singled with one out and moved to third on a single by Zach Jarrett. With two away, Willy Yahn lined an RBI single to center, scoring Billingsley for a 1-0 Keys lead.
Frederick picked up another two-out hit to drive in a run in the second. Sean Miller singled to start the frame and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. With two down, Billingsley delivered an RBI double to plate Miller, extending the Keys lead to 2-0.
The Hillcats got a run back in the top of the third. Jose Vicente and Gabriel Mejia singled, and Jodd Carter walked to load the bases. Nolan Jones worked a bases-loaded walk, cutting the deficit to 2-1.
Frederick got that run right back to begin the third inning. JC Escarra belted a solo home run, his seventh of the year, to push the Keys advantage to 3-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, Frederick blew the game open. Billingsley singled for his fourth hit of the game, and Zach Jarrett blasted a two-run home run, his fourth of the season and second of the series, to open up a 5-1 lead.
Lynchburg brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh inning, but Jones grounded out to end the game.
The Indians affiliate mustered just two hits in the contest.
Justin Garza (Loss, 3-4) worked five innings and allowed three earned runs on eight hits. He walked three and struck out five. Dakody Clemmer allowed two runs in an inning of work.
DL Hall (Win, 2-2) gave up just a run on two hits over five innings for Frederick. He walked three and punched out six. Diogenes Almengo (Save, 6) walked three, but fired two scoreless innings to preserve the win.
For the second straight game, the Keys scored early. With two out in the first, Jomar Reyes crushed a solo home run to right field, his fourth of the season, to open up the scoring and give the Orioles affiliate a 1-0 lead.
Frederick plated two more runs in the fourth inning, both on bases-loaded walks issued by Hillcats starter Zach Draper (Loss, 0-1). Jean Carillo and Ryan Ripken each singled, and Jake Ring walked to load the bases. The next two hitters, Yeltsin Gudino and Yusniel Diaz, each walked to bring home home runs, extending the Keys lead to 3-0 to cap the scoring.
In the top of the third inning, Lynchburg loaded the bases with one out. Trenton Brooks hit a line drive that was caught on a diving play by second baseman Willy Yahn, and Jose Vicente grounded out to third base to end the inning and the threat.
Draper, making his A-Adv. debut, yielded three earned runs on six hits over three innings. He issued five walks and struck out one. Yapson Gomez fired three scoreless innings without allowing a hit and punching out four. He has allowed just one earned run over his last 13 frames.
David Lebron started for Frederick and pitched four scoreless innings while surrendering five hits. Luis Perez (Win, 3-1) held Lynchburg off the board over his three innings, allowing just two hits and striking out two.
The Hillcats and Keys will conclude their series with another double-header on Saturday at Nymeo Field to make up for a postponement between the two clubs on May 30. Game One will feature Frederick righty Blaine Knight (0-0, 3.38) against Lynchburg right-hander Jean Carlos Mejia (2-1, 5.19). In Game Two, southpaw Anderson Polanco (0-1, 3.38) will toe the slab for the Hillcats against Keys righty Brenan Hanifee (3-4, 5.59). First pitch for Game One is set for 4 p.m. There will be approximately 30 minutes between games and both contests will be seven innings in length.
Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 3:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
The Hillcats will return to City Stadium on Sunday, June 2, where they will start a three-game series with the Down East Wood Ducks, A-Adv. affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Sunday will be a Sandlot Sunday where all kids in attendance will be able to run the bases following the conclusion of the game. Other home stand highlights include Kids Eat Free Tuesday, where all kids will receive a meal voucher to the concession stand upon entering City Stadium.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.