Potomac Nationals top Lynchburg Hillcats, 10-4
Tyler Tewell racked up a season-high three hits for the second-straight game, but Potomac registered 17 hits as a team to defeat the Lynchburg Hillcats, 10-4, at Calvin Falwell Field Saturday night.
Lynchburg (9-6) led early after scoring twice in the opening stanza. One-out walks to Kyle Wren and Kevin Ahrens sandwiched a single by Josh Elander to load the bases for Edison Sanchez. Sanchez hit what appeared to be a potential 6-4-3 double-play ball, but a misplay by the shortstop Stephen Perez allowed everybody to advance safely. Sanchez received picked up his sixth RBI as a result of Wren scoring on the play. Tewell followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to drive home Elander, giving Lynchburg a 2-1 lead.
Potomac (9-6) took the lead for good in the fourth inning with three runs on five hits, all coming against Eric Pfisterer (0-2) out of the bullpen. Perez, Will Piwnica-Worms and Randolph Oduber all had RBI singles in the frame to stake a 4-2 advantage. Pfisterer stayed in through the fifth inning and recorded one out in the sixth, but took the loss after surrendering three runs in his 2.1 innings.
Tewell’s hot hitting tried to spark a rally in the fourth with a leadoff double. He scored two batters later on an RBI groundout by Levi Hyams to cut the deficit to 4-3. However, two runs by Potomac in the seventh and four more in the eighth broke the game wide open, 10-3, in favor of the Nationals. Kevin Keyes hit his second home run of the series, a two-run shot in the seventh, to highlight the offensive explosion by Potomac.
Lynchburg claimed its final run in the eighth, once again courtesy of Tewell. After a leadoff single by Kevin Ahrens, Tewell’s base hit two batters later gave the starting catcher his second RBI of the game and his sixth of the season. Tewell is now batting a team-high .341 after going 6-for-8 in the last two games with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Brian Rauh (1-1) earned the victory for Potomac after striking out two and holding Lynchburg to two earned runs in five innings. Bryan Harper was credited with a hold after two innings of middle relief saw him limit the Hillcats to one run on three hits. Gilberto Mendez pitched two scoreless innings after relieving Harper during the eighth.
For the second time this series, Potomac and Lynchburg will square off with first place in the Northern Division on the line. Both teams will take identical 9-6 records into the Sunday afternoon contest scheduled to start at 2:05pm. Lucas Sims (1-1, 4.20) will take the mound for the Hillcats against Ronald Pena (0-0, 10.97). There will be a special Easter Sunday Egg Hunt at City Stadium as part of the festivities. Fans can also tune in to live coverage of the game on 97.9 The Planet, beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show presented by Amtrak Virginia at 1:40pm.