Edison Sanchez’s two-run double in the eighth inning broke a 3-3 tie to send the Lynchburg Hillcats toward a 6-3 victory, completing a series sweep of Frederick at Calvin Falwell Field Thursday afternoon.
It marked the first series sweep by the Hillcats (28-25) this season against any opponent and improved Lynchburg to 8-3 this year against the Keys (21-30). The victory also stretched the Hillcats’ winning streak to a season-high five games.
After stranding the go-ahead run at third base in the seventh, Lynchburg (28-25) took advantage of a break in the eighth when Levi Hyams reached via a wild pitch on a strikeout. Two batters later, with two outs in the inning, Eric Garcia extended the frame with a walk.
Garcia’s free pass allowed Sanchez to provide the deciding hit with a two-run double into the left-center field gap, which gave Lynchburg a 5-3 lead. He came home on the very next batter thanks to an RBI single by Daniel Castro. Sanchez finished the game 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Castro went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Alex Wilson (3-1) earned the victory with a 1-2-3 eighth inning that included a strikeout. Ryan Kelly picked up his second save of the series by working a perfect ninth inning with one strikeout. Kelly continued his incredible streak of retiring all 15 batters he has faced in the Carolina League, and Wilson extended the Hillcats’ longest active scoreless streak to 12 innings pitched.
Earlier in the game, the Hillcats trailed on two different occasions. After Frederick (21-30) plated an unearned run in the first on an RBI double by Zane Chavez, Lynchburg remained down until the bottom of the fourth. David Nick bunted for a single and advanced on a throwing error by Brady Wager. After moving to third on a passed ball, Nick scored on a Will Skinner single to knot the score, 1-1. With the base hit, Skinner moved ahead of Kevin Ahrens for the team lead with 26 RBIs.
Two innings later, Nick reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on an RBI double by Hyams to briefly give Lynchburg a 2-1 lead. However, Frederick reclaimed the upperhand with a two-run double by Glynn Davis in the seventh to take a 3-2 advantage.
Trailing 3-2, Sanchez hit a one-out single in the seventh before Castro doubled to left field. Joe Odom singled to center field to drive home Sanchez and tie the game at 3-all.
Miguel Chalas suffered his third blown save and fell to 0-3 on the year after entering in the seventh and surrendering four earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts in two innings. Wager did not factor into the decision despite holding Lynchburg to one earned run in six innings.
Lynchburg hits the road for a four-game series at Winston-Salem beginning Friday at 7pm. Greg Ross (4-1, 2.33) will match up against Jeff Wendelken (4-5, 3.94) of the Dash. Erik Wilson will have the live play-by-play on 97.9 The Planet.