The Lynchburg Hillcats (21-24) split a pair of 3-2 finals on the road against the Potomac Naitonals (24-20) tonight. Will Skinner went 4-for-6 for the ‘Cats, with a pair of hits in both ends of the twin bill, driving in a run and scoring one as well in the 3-2 win in game two.
Josh Elander drove in both runs for the Hillcats in the first game. His second inning RBI double put the ‘Cats up 1-0. The Nationals then took the lead back in the fourth.
After three scoreless innings, Wes Parsons ran into trouble on the mound allowing the first four Nationals to reach in the fourth. With runners at first and second, he hit Randolph Oduber to load the bases for Khayyan Norfork with nobody out. Norfork doubled in two runs. With runners at second and third, still no outs, Parsons struck out the next batter and then induced a fielder’s choice groundout to third that saw Oduber get tagged out between home and third base. The next batter Narciso Mesa grounded out to second base ending the inning.
Potomac scored their third and final run in the fifth inning. Oscar Tejeda’s RBI double gave the Nationals a 3-1 advantage.
Parsons (3-2) finished the fifth allowing three runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out four. He suffered the loss as the Lynchburg comeback effort wasn’t enough in the seventh. Elander drove in Daniel Castro, again, with an RBI double. Kevin Ahrens then struck out, and Levi Hyams was intentionally walked to put runners at first and second for David Nick. Nationals’ closer Robert Benincasa got Nick to line out to shortstop to end the game, and Benincasa earned his eighth save of the season.
Sammy Solis (1-0) gave up just one run in 5.1 innings and earned the win for Potomac.
Game two saw the ‘Cats score three runs in the second inning, and that ended up being all they needed. Skinner drove in Ahrens with a double and scored in the inning. Anthony Nunez knocked in Skinner with a two-out single, which turned out to be the game-winning run.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Nationals scored their only two runs of the game. Jarett Miller gave up three consecutive doubles with one outs but settled in after that. He retired 10 of his last 13 batters, including a perfect fifth inning.
Alex Wilson took over in the sixth and retired five in a row before Justin Miller singled in the seventh, putting tying run on the bases. Tony Renda flew out to right field following the single to end the game.
Miller (2-4) earned the win allowing just two runs over five innings, on six hits. He walked one and struck out six. Wilson got a save, his team-best fourth of the year.
The loss went to Ian Dickson (1-3), who gave up three runs over six innings for the Nationals.
Potomac will host the Hillcats one last time tomorrow night at Pfitzner Stadium for a 7:05pm first pitch. Its the 10th and final game for the Hillcats at Potomac this season. Right-hander Lucas Sims (4-3, 4.07) will start for Lynchburg against righty Ronald Pena (3-1, 4.81) for the Nationals. The Hillcats On-Deck Show presented by Amtrak Virginia will go on the air at 6:40pm. Erik Wilson will have the call on 97.9 The Planet.