A five-run third inning was enough to sink the Lynchburg Hillcats tonight as they lost 5-4 to the Winston-Salem Dash. The Dash (23-20, 53-59) batted all nine in the third inning. The Hillcats (21-21, 55-57) scored two runs late but stranded the tying run at first base in the ninth.
Cody Scarpetta struck out four of the first five Dash batters he faced tonight. He made it through two innings scoreless before running into trouble in the third. Justin Jirschele led off the frame with a double into the right field corner. Keenyn Walked doubled Jirschele home. A single and a walk then loaded the bases. Jason Coats hit a sac fly to right field to score Walker and tie the score. Scarpetta then struck out Keon Barnum for a second time. Joey DeMichele followed with a two-run double and Omar Narvaez knocked Scarpetta out of the game with a the fourth double of the inning. DeMichele scored to put the Dash up 5-2.
Brady Feigl entered in relief and induced a fly out to right field from Michael Marjama to end the inning. The left-hander would retire his first five batters before Jason Coats doubled with one out in the fifth. Coats went stranded at third base as Feigl retired the next two batters to complete 2.1 scoreless innings of relief.
The Hillcats had initially taken the lead in the top of the third inning. Levi Hyams and Blake Brown singled to begin the rally with no outs. Joe Odom then hit a double of the wall in straight away center field driving both runners.
Still trailing 5-2, Mauricio Cabrera took over on the mound for Lynchburg in the sixth. His only baserunner over two blank frames was due to an error in the seventh. Meanwhile, the Hillcats got a run back in the seventh. Odom drew a leadoff walk. Then, Eric Garcia and Jose Martinez singled with one out to load the bases. Ben Brewster was called out of the bullpen to relieve Brad Goldberg. Brewster balked to allowed Odom to score, but then struck out Justin Bloxom and induced a fly out to center field from Will Skinner to end the inning.
An error helped the Hillcats pull within one in the eighth. Hyams reached first as Cleuluis Rondon threw the ball away from shortstop. David Nick drove in Hyams with two outs, collecting his third base hit of the night.
Brandon Hardin took over in the ninth for Winston-Salem. He gave up a two-out single to Skinner, but stranded him at first base and record his fifth save of the season. Brandon Brennan (1-0) earned the win allowing just two runs on six hits over five innings in his Advanced-A debut. Scarpetta (3-5) suffered the loss allowing a season-high five runs in a season-low 2.2 innings.
The Hillcats will try to avoid the sweep tomorrow night at 5pm in Winston-Salem. Left-hander Daniel Watts (2-3, 5.18) will start for the Hillcats against right-hander Tyler Danish (4-2, 3.10) for the Dash. The Hillcats On-Deck Show presented by Amtrak Virginia will go on the air at 5:40pm. Erik Wilson will have the call on 97.9 The Planet.