Miller’s big night leads Lynchburg Hillcats past Salem
Lynchburg (68-65, 39-27) improves to 5-0 at Haley Toyota Field against Salem (63-72, 30-36) this season, and the club could clinch a playoff spot as early as Saturday with their Magic Number now at two.
Anthony Miller led the way for Lynchburg on Friday. The first baseman went a career-high 5-for-5, with two home runs, a double and four RBI. Miller’s five-hit mark ties Ernie Clement for the most hits in a ballgame by a Hillcats player this season.
The Hillcats started the scoring in the fourth inning. Nolan Jones singled with one out, and came in to score on a Trenton Brooks RBI double to break the scoreless tie. Miller then followed Brooks’ double with a two-base hit of his own, driving in another run to give Lynchburg a 2-0 lead.
The visitors piled it on in the fifth. Jose Media led off the frame with a single, and Dillon Persinger doubled off the center field wall to put runners and second and third. The next hitter, Mitch Longo, ripped a two-run double to plate both Media and Persinger. Later in the inning, Brooks knocked an RBI single to score Longo, and Miller blasted a two-run home run, his first of two long balls on the night. Lynchburg batted around in the fifth inning and led 7-0 at the midway point.
With one out in the seventh, Miller crushed his second home run, and eighth of the year, a solo shot, to put the Hillcats ahead, 8-0.
Brooks finished by going 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI. All but one Hillcats starter had a hit, as the 17 hits were one shy of matching a season-high. It was Lynchburg’s tenth shutout win of the year.
Justin Garza (Win, 5-6), fired five scoreless innings for Lynchburg. He allowed just one hit, striking out six, and retired the last 12 Red Sox hitters he faced. Ben Krauth came in and tossed 3.1 scoreless innings, striking out five. At one point, Garza and Krauth combined to retire 20 consecutive Salem hitters. Dalbert Siri stranded the bases loaded and picked up the final two outs of the ballgame.
Salem starter Jake Thompson (Loss, 5-13) surrendered seven earned runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings.
The two teams will play a double-header on Saturday, with the first game beginning at 3:05 p.m. The second game will start no earlier than 6:05 p.m. Both games will be seven-inning contests. LHP Tanner Tully (5-11, 4.56) will start Game One for Lynchbutrg, while Right-hander Daniel Gonzalez (8-7, 4.40) starts the first game for Salem. Neither team has announced a Game Two starter.
Max Gun will get you set with pregame coverage beginning at 2:55 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.
The Hillcats are in line to host post-season games against the Potomac Nationals on September 5 and 6 at City Stadium. Fans can purchase $2 tickets, and also receive $2 hot dogs and $2 beers at the game.
For tickets and more information visit lychburg-hillcats.com, the City Stadium box office, or call 434-528-1144.