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Morris pitches Hillcats to win in series finale

Lynchburg HillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats avoided the sweep and took the final game of the series against the Salem Red Sox on Sunday afternoon, winning 2-1.

Lynchburg (18-24, 50-59) was powered by early offense against Salem (25-18, 50-60), and now sits 5.5 games out of a playoff spot in the CL North.

Steven Kwan took charge in the first inning with a lead-off homer, his third of the year, on the seventh pitch of his at-bat for a 1-0 lead.

The Hillcats followed that up by scoring again in the second when Tyler Freeman knocked an RBI single that plated Jodd Carter after he and Kwan walked.

The Hillcats threatened in the third as Mitch Reeves doubled to lead off the inning. But a bunt attempt by Will Benson turned into a fielder’s choice, getting Reeves caught in a run down at third. Jonathan Laureano then hit into a double play that rendered the inning scoreless for the Hillcats.

Cody Morris (Win, 2-0) worked six innings and allowed just one run on three hits, striking out six. Morris gave up a triple to Edgar Corcino in the second and he scored on a Victor Acosta RBI groundout, his seventh RBI of the series for Salem’s only run of the afternoon.

In the third, Morris gave up a single to Korby Batesole after striking out Jagger Rusconi to start the inning. From then on Morris retired nine straight batters, striking out five in a row. Nick Lovullo broke the streak, hitting a single to left field. Ryan Fitzgerald followed with a walk. Yet again Morris got himself out of the inning and the score remained 2-1 Lynchburg.

Aaron Pinto then took over for Morris in the seventh and retired all six Red Sox batters he faced over two scoreless innings.

Yapson Gomez (Save, 7) took the mound for the Hillcats in the ninth and garnered the save taking down the Red Sox 1-2-3.

The Hillcats and Red Sox will play a three-game series starting Tuesday after an off day on Monday. Lynchburg will send right-hander Brock Hartson (0-1, 3.55) to the mound, while Salem has not announced their starter. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Haley Toyota Field.

Max Gun, Anders Jorstad and Emily Messina will be on the air at 6:55 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.

The Hillcats will return to City Stadium on August 16 when the Carolina Mudcats, A-Adv. affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers come to town for a three-game set. Weekend highlights include First Responders Night on Saturday with post-game fireworks sponsored by Hill City Pharmacy. Friday’s contest will also feature a post-game fireworks show presented by Pepsi. Sunday’s game will be a Sandlot Sunday where all kids in attendance will be able to run the bases after the conclusion of the game.

For tickets or more information, visit, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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