Kyle Wren’s two-run triple in the fourth inning broke a 3-3 tie and sent the Lynchburg Hillcats on their way to a 10-4 victory to open a four-game set against Winston-Salem at Calvin Falwell Field Friday night.
Lynchburg (23-24) trailed on two different occasions to the Dash (18-28), but after squaring the game at 3-all in the third inning, the Hillcats ran away with the lead in the fourth. Daniel Castro began the decisive stanza by lining a double into the right-center field gap. Jose Peraza singled to left and then stole his league-leading 23rd base of the year to put two runners into scoring position for Wren.
With no one out in the fourth, Wren smacked a ball to right-center field that one-hopped off the fence to give Lynchburg a 5-3 lead on his second triple of the year. One batter later, Josh Elander hit an RBI double to stretch the advantage to 6-3 and knock the starting pitcher Braulio Ortiz out of the game. Elander scored later in the inning on an error, giving the Hillcats a 7-3 margin after four frames.
Lay Batista (2-1) worked five innings and allowed four runs on five hits to secure his second victory of the year. The right-hander struck out four while walking two. Navery Moore earned a hold with three scoreless innings of middle relief and two strikeouts. Zach Jadofsky tossed a scoreless ninth. Ortiz (0-4) suffered the loss for the Dash.
The Hillcats trailed 2-0 in the first after a two-run homer by Jason Coats, but Lynchburg responded quickly. Singles by Wren and Kevin Ahrens followed by a walk to Levi Hyams loaded the bases for Will Skinner. Skinner hit a slow chopper to the left side of the infield for an RBI single and an ensuing throwing error allowed the Hillcats to tie the game at 2-apiece.
Winston-Salem regained the lead in the second inning, 3-2, but Skinner was up to the challenge again with a game-tying RBI single in the third. Skinner added a two-run double in the eighth to finish the game 3-for-4 and match his career high with four RBIs.
Wren, Elander, Ahrens and Daniel Castro all had multi-hit efforts as well. Wren finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, two runs scored and two stolen bases to increase his season count to 21 swipes. Elander went 2-for-5 with two doubles to give him nine for the year. Ahrens hit his 10thdouble of the season as part of a 2-for-3 performance where he scored two runs. Castro went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run.
It marked the first time in 2014 the Hillcats scored double-digits at home and the fourth time this season. Lynchburg has now won three consecutive games for the third time this season. The team will look for its first four-game winning streak when it takes the field against Winston-Salem Saturday night.
Lynchburg has yet to announce its starter for the 6:05 pm tilt, which will be followed by Fireworks presented by Member One FCU. It’s also a Reading Night presented by Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics of Lynchburg. The first 1,000 kids in attendance will receive free pom-poms. Winston-Salem will send Tyler Danish (0-0, 9.00) to the mound. Gates open at 5 pm, and the game will also be broadcast live on 97.9 The Planet by Erik Wilson and Kyle West with coverage beginning at 5:40pm.