Lynchburg Hillcats use 15-hit attack to down Winston-Salem Dash

Lynchburg HillcatsA night after being shut out, the Lynchburg Hillcats bounced back to beat the Winston-Salem Dash 6-3 on Friday night.

The Hillcats (33-36, 1-1) had a 6-0 lead at one point against Winston-Salem (39-27, 1-1), as the Dash’s comeback bid fell short.

Lynchburg struck first in the very first inning. Steven Kwan led off the ballgame with a triple, and Tyler Freeman worked a walk to put two aboard. Two batters later, Oscar Gonzalez poked a two-run single to center field, scoring both Kwan and Freeman for a 2-0 Hillcats lead.

In the second, Lynchburg widened the gap. Gonzalez singled with one out and later in the frame, Gavin Collins pumped an RBI double off the left-center fence to stretch the lead to 3-0.

Gonzalez singled again to lead off the fifth inning. The next batter, Will Benson, blasted a two-run home run. It was his first in a Hillcats uniform and 19th overall, pushing the advantage to 5-0.

The Hillcats added another run in the sixth inning. Kwan doubled to start the frame and moved to third base on a Nolan Jones single. Gonzalez swatted a fly ball to deep center field, plating Kwan on the sac fly for a 6-0 lead.

Winston-Salem clawed back into the game in the sixth inning. The Dash scored three runs without the benefit of a hit. Justin Garza (Win, 4-5) and Jonathan Teaney combined to walk four consecutive hitters. Two runs scored on a pair of wild pitches and another came home on a bases-loaded walk worked by JJ Muno.

Kwan, Gonzalez and Jodd Carter each finished with three-hit games. Freeman and Collins had two hits apiece.

Garza gave up three earned runs on four hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out three and walked three. Teaney, Aaron Pinto and Yapson Gomez (Save, 1) combined for 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.

Pinto got out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning, getting Craig Dedelow to pop out to end the frame.

Konnor Pilkington (Loss, 1-2) surrendered three earned runs on eight hits in four innings. Jake Elliott allowed three earned runs in two innings, while Andrew Perez and Jose Nin combined for three scoreless frames.

The two teams will continue their series on Saturday with the third game of the four-game set. Lynchburg will send right-hander Matt Solter (4-1, 3.19) to the mound against Winston-Salem righty Zach Lewis (4-3, 6.07). First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at BB&T Ballpark.

Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 5:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.

Lynchburg returns home on Monday, June 24 to begin a seven-game homestand starting with the Frederick Keys. Homestand highlights include Kids-Eat-Free Tuesday, Winning Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, fireworks shows on Friday and Saturday, and Grateful Dead Night featuring a pre-game cover band performance on Friday, June 28.

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