Lynchburg walks off with 5-4 win over Frederick

lynchburg hillcatsFor the third straight night, a four-run deficit in the fifth inning proved to be an afterthought by the end of the game, as Lynchburg overcame an early 4-0 hole with home runs by Will Skinner and Tyler Tewell and defeated Frederick on a Josh Elander walk-off single, 5-4 in 10 innings, at Calvin Falwell Field Wednesday night.

Elander’s base hit up the middle marked the second walk-off victory for the Hillcats (27-25) in three days and the team’s fifth overall in 2014. It also gave Lynchburg its league-best fourth extra-inning victory of the season, improving to 4-1 in such contests. For Frederick (21-29), the loss represented the team’s sixth walk-off defeat of the year.

Lynchburg’s pitching and defense elevated its level over the final eight innings, holding Frederick to only one hit out of the final 28 batters. Lucas Sims surrendered a three-run homer in the second inning to Jerome Pena to put Lynchburg at an early 4-0 disadvantage, but he only allowed one single for the remainder of his outing and retired the final seven he faced. Sims finished with four earned runs on six hits, striking out three in six innings.

Zach Jadofsky (3-1) entered in the seventh inning and completely stifled the Frederick offense.  The right-hander sat down all 12 batters he saw, including three strikeouts and six groundouts. Combined with Sims, the Hillcats retired 19 consecutive hitters to end the game.

Frederick also had a strong pitching streak going until the Hillcats quickly changed things in the 10th. After a two-run homer by Tewell tied the game at 4-all in the bottom of the sixth, 10 straight Lynchburg hitters were retired to force the game into extra innings.

Daniel Castro began the decisive frame with a hot shot that went between the legs of the third baseman Jason Esposito for an error. Jose Peraza then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but a throwing error by the relief pitcher Matt Price allowed Castro to advance to third and Peraza to reach second. With the infield drawn in, Elander lined a single up the middle to end the game, 5-4 in 10 innings.

Earlier in the game, Skinner cut a four-run margin in half with a two-run homer in the fifth inning. Following a leadoff single by Levi Hyams, Skinner hit a ball more than 390 feet over the center field wall to make the score 4-2. It gave Skinner his team-best fourth home run of the season and also moved him into a tie with Kevin Ahrens for the team lead with 25 RBIs.

One inning later, Skinner was hit by a pitch with two outs to set the table for Tewell. On the first pitch he saw, Tewell hit his second home run of the season deep over the right-center field fence to even the game, 4-4. It gave Tewell four RBIs in the last two days in addition to scoring the game-winning run on Monday.

Lynchburg will take a season-best four-game winning streak into the series finale, which will have a special start time of11:05am Thursday morning. It’s “Smoke Free” and “Say No To Drugs” Education Day presented by TUCP & HIPE. Area 6th graders will learn of the dangers of drugs and alcohol during the game, and no smoking will be permitted inside the stadium. Gates open at 10am. Erik Wilson and Kyle West will take the air as on 97.9 The Planet at 11am as Lynchburg looks to complete a series sweep of the Keys with Lay Batista (2-1, 5.31) pitching for the Hillcats against Brady Wager (2-4, 6.46).

         
 

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