Lynchburg wins rain-shortened game

RHP Aaron Northcraft earned his first win for the Hillcats since July 4 in a rain-shortened seven-inning game tonight. The Hillcats beat the Winston-Salem Dash 2-1. The game was suspended with two outs and the bases empty with the Dash batting in the bottom of the seventh inning. The umpires waited for 52 minutes before officially calling game.

The Hillcats struck first in the top of the third inning. Nick Ahmed and Tommy La Stella both singled to put runners at first and third for Chris Garcia with nobody out. Garcia drove in Ahmed with a soft groundout to third. La Stella advanced to second. Adam Milligan then doubled to deep center field to score La Stella. The ‘Cats led 2-0.

Northcraft held the Dash scoreless through the first four innings, striking out five and walking none, while scattering three hits. Then Kyle Shelton came up to lead off the fifth. He homered to deep left-center field, his second of the season. Northcraft went on to retire the next three in order. It was 2-1 Hillcats.

The rain started in the bottom of the seventh inning once Northcraft had been relieved by LHP Matt Chaffee. Chaffee retired two batters in the rain. However, his 0-1 pitch to Shelton slipped out his hand and went to the backstop. The umpires suspended the game at that point calling for the tarp to be put on the field.

The rain was steady, causing the warning tracks and outfield to flood. Since the game was past the fifth inning, the game went final 2-1 in favor of the Hillcats.

Northcraft (9-11) earned the win allowing one run in six innings. He was 0-7 over his previous nine starts before tonight. Dash starter, RHP Chris Bassit (4-4), took the loss. He surrendered two runs in five innings on four hits, while walking four and striking out six.

The Hillcats are now 31-33 in the second half and still 2.5 games behind the Wilmington Blue Rocks for first place in the Northern Division.

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