Perez lights out in Lynchburg debut
The Lynchburg HIllcats beat the Blue Rocks 8-1 tonight, collecting consecutive wins for the first time since winning four in a row May 27-30. Leading the way for tonight’s victory was Williams Perez, who struck out seven over six scoreless innings in his Hillcats debut. His offense provided plenty of run support, allowing him to relax in his first Advanced-A start. The bottom half of the order drove the production tonight. The fifth through the ninth spots in the lineup accounted for six of seven RBI and all eight runs scored for Lynchburg.
Elmer Reyes put the Hillcats (7-14, 43-47) on the board in the second inning with an RBI-triple scoring Will Skinner from first base. Reyes then scored on a Cory Brownsten single, giving the ‘Cats a 2-0 lead. Skinner sparked the Lynchburg offense again in the fourth inning. He singled and scored on another Reyes extra-base hit. This time Reyes doubled down the right field line. Matt Weaver followed with a double to score Reyes, and that ended the night for Blue Rocks (14-10, 47-47) starter John Lamb.
Lamb (4-8) lasted just three-plus innings, allowing five runs, four earned, on seven hits. Tyler Sample relieved him in the fourth. He committed an error on a sacrifice bunt which eventually led to two unearned runs scoring.
Sample walked the bases loaded in the fifth inning with nobody out. Weaver drove in a run with a ground out to third, and the Sample was taken out. Things went much smoother for the Blue Rocks from that point on. Spencer Patton allowed one inherited runner to score in the fifth but that was it. He combined with Andrew Triggs to throw the final 4.2 innings scoreless for Wilmington.
Meanwhile, Perez (1-0) made a huge impression in his first start for Lynchburg. He allowed just three hits over six scoreless innings. Two of those hits were to the five-hole hitter Jared Schlehuber. It turned out that Schlehuber would rob the Hillcats of a shutout in the ninth inning when he homered off of reliever Brandon Cunniff. Perez had three perfect innings tonight, and he struck out the side in the fifth on his way to his first win as a Hillcat.
Lynchburg still sits in fourth place in the Northern Division, but picked up a game on the first place Blue Rocks tonight.
Tomorrow is an off-day for the Hillcats. They will continue their eight-game road trip on Wednesday against the Potomac Nationals. Starters are yet to be announced for Wednesday. First pitch will be at 7:05pm, and the Hillcats On-Deck Show powered by Honda/Suzuki will go on the air at 6:40pm. Listen live to Erik Wilson with the call on 97.9 FM The Planet and online at lynchburg-hillcats.com