Lynchburg Hillcats win opener with Carolina Mudcats, 5-4

lynchburg hillcatsLed by Jose Martinez’s 3-for-4 day with two RBIs, three different Hillcats had three-hit performances in a game where Lynchburg held on against the Carolina Mudcats for a 5-4 victory at Calvin Falwell Field Monday night.

Martinez gave the Hillcats (43-45) a quick advantage in the first inning on an RBI single to score Eric Garcia after the leadoff man singled to open the frame. The Hillcats tallied another run in the second inning after the leadoff batter reached again. Will Skinner walked, advanced two bases on a wild pitch, and eventually came home on a one-out single by Emerson Landoni to put Lynchburg on top, 2-0.

Carolina (39-47) tied the game momentarily in the top of the third after James Roberts and Luigi Rodriguez reached on a hit by pitch and single, respectively. Both runners scored later in the frame, though only one was earned because of a throwing error on Landoni.

Lynchburg wasted no time reclaiming the advantage with a leadoff triple by David Nick down the right field line followed by an RBI double to right field by Martinez. Martinez scored two batters later on an RBI groundout by Levi Hyams to push the margin to 4-2.

Cody Scarpetta (3-2) went five innings in his fifth start to earn the win, holding Carolina to one earned run on three hits while striking out six. Mauricio Cabrera and Nate Hyatt each registered holds to preserve the lead for Alex Wilson, who tossed the final 1.1 innings to notch his ninth save of the season. Shawn Morimando (8-3) suffered his first loss since May 8 after giving up four runs on seven hits in four innings.

The Hillcats added what proved to be a valuable insurance run in the seventh when Garcia singled, advanced to second on a throwing error by reliever Jacob Lee and then scored on two successive passed balls by Alex Monsalve. Garcia went 3-for-5 in the game with two runs scored.

Carolina staged a late comeback effort in the eighth when it scored two unearned runs after a fielding error by Kevin Ahrens. Joe Sever and Jerrud Sabourin both touched home during the frame. Sabourin scored as a result of a Wilson balk. However, the Mudcats stranded the tying run at second base, and Wilson tossed a perfect ninth inning to seal the win.

In addition to Martinez and Garcia, Landoni had a three-hit game that included an RBI. Lynchburg returned to .500 in the second half with the victory, improving to 9-9 since the All-Star Break.

Lynchburg and Carolina will play the second contest of a four-game set Tuesday night at 7:05pm. Daniel Watts (0-2, 6.08) will face Ryan Merritt (9-2, 1.65), who leads the league in ERA. Gates open at 6pm. Fans can tune in to the game on 97.9 The Planet beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show presented by Amtrak Virginia at 6:40pm. Erik Wilson and Kyle West will have the call.


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