Home Hillcats squander late chances in 9-6 loss to Wilmington
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Hillcats squander late chances in 9-6 loss to Wilmington

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lynchburg hillcatsLynchburg left eight runners stranded over the final three innings in its comeback bid against the Wilmington Blue Rocks at Frawley Stadium Wednesday night.

After the Rocks jumped out to a 5-0 lead after one inning, the ‘Cats briefly took a 6-5 lead in the fifth, highlighted by home runs from David Armendariz (4) and Bobby Bradley (12). Wilmington, however, responded with three unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth to reclaim the lead. Lynchburg loaded the bases in both the seventh and eight innings, but both Yu-Cheng Chang and Mark Mathias flied out to end the threats.

Antonio Romero struggled early, starting in place of Sean Brady who was a late scratch. Wilmington brought 10 batters to the plate in the home half of the first. Romero issued three free passes and surrendered four hits in the inning, including an RBI double by Robert PehlBrian Bien capped off the scoring with a two-out, two-run single to give Wilmington a 5-0 advantage. Romero settled down nicely, not allowing a hit in his final three innings of work.

Lynchburg began its comeback effort with two runs in the fourth, highlighted by an RBI double by Yu-Cheng Chang that scored Anthony Santander.

Trailing 4-2 to begin the fifth, David Armendariz interrupted the conversation in the Blue Rocks bullpen by dispatching an 0-1 pitch into the ‘pen. Claudio Bautista followed that up by with a double. He eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Mark Mathias. Greg Allen singled, and Bobby Bradley launched his league-leading 12th home run of the season to bring Allen around to score with a moon shot over the right field fence. The blast capped off a four-run inning that gave Lynchburg a 6-5 edge. However, Wilmington used three unearned runs in the fifth to jump back in front and go on to a 9-6 victory.

The Hillcats suffered their first road defeat against a North Division opponent this season…They are now 7-1 in that category…Lynchburg has hit five home runs in the past two days to increase its league-leading total to 48…Of those 48 home runs, 30 have been on the road.

Lynchburg will continue its four-game road trip Thursday night against the Blue Rocks at 6:35 p.m. Mitch Brown (1-4, 4.66) is expected to take the ball for the Hillcats while Wilmington sends flamethrower Josh Staumont (1-4, 5.06) to the mound. Fans can listen to the action on 93.3 FM and 1320 AM as well as www.lynchburg-hillcats.com, beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show at 6:15 p.m.

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