Potomac rallies for nine in the ninth, stuns Hillcats, 13-7
Lynchburg had a great night at the plate and received a quality start from Mitch Brown. The Hillcats hit four home runs, including back-to-back by Luigi Rodriguez and Joe Sever in the eighth inning, but that wasn’t enough to survive a nine-run Potomac ninth as Lynchburg fell 13-7.
The Nationals kicked off the scoring in the first frame when Wilmer Difo led off with a single and came around to score on an RBI double from Spencer Kieboom off Lynchburg’s starter Mitch Brown.
The Hillcats answered right back in the bottom half of the inning when Bradley Zimmer hit his second home run in as many days over the right field fence, tying things up at 1-all.
Potomac retook a one-run advantage in the third after Estarlin Martinez singled to lead off the inning, moved over to second on a groundout by Christopher Bostick, then stole third and came home on a passed ball on the same play.
Lynchburg stormed back in the fourth, displaying more of their power at the plate. After Zimmer was hit by a pitch and immediately stole second, Eric Haase drove him in to tie the game with a double down the left field line. With Haase at second, Luigi Rodriguez blasted the Hillcats’ second home run of the game over the right field wall to give the ‘Cats a 4-2 advantage.
The Nationals cut the lead in half in the fifth thanks to a Brandon Miller double to open the stanza and came home to score on a Martinez double-play ball.
The Hillcats weren’t done scoring however, as they tacked one more in the seventh on an RBI single by Zimmer and two more in the eighth on the back-to-back home runs by Luigi Rodriguez, his second of the evening, and Joe Sever giving Lynchburg a 7-4 lead. Rodriguez’s final line included a double, and the two home runs in his four at bats.
Then the late inning frustrations continued for the ‘Cats. After losing a three-run lead in the ninth on Thursday night, Lynchburg gave up nine runs on six hits and an error in Friday night’s final frame. Nick Pasquale surrendered two runs and loaded the bases without recording an out and was replaced by Robbie Aviles, who walked in the tying and go-ahead runs.
Drew Ward followed with a two-run single and was followed by a Jimmy Yezzo two-run single two batters later. The ninth and final run of the inning was scored when Sever couldn’t handle a ball at second and allowed Yezzo to come into score. When it was all said and done, 14 men came to the plate, a nine spot was on the board without the benefit of an extra-base hit, and the Hillcats trailed 13-7. Lynchburg went down quietly in the bottom half and dropped their sixth straight.
The Hillcats return to action Saturday for the Seventh Annual Autism Awareness Night. There will be a T-shirt giveaway to the first 1,000 fans presented by Physicians Treatment Center. If you can’t make it out to the ballpark, make sure to tune in to the game on ESPN Radio Virginia 93.3 FM and 1320 AM.