Salem tops Hillcats in series finale, 4-3

Josh Ockimey’s three-run homer in the fourth inning broke a scoreless tie and gave Salem the lead for the remainder of the game Monday afternoon in a 4-3 series finale at City Stadium.

lynchburg hillcatsThe Hillcats played their eighth consecutive one-run game at Calvin Falwell Field but came up on the short end for only the second time during that span. After entering with a chance to tie Salem at the top of the Northern Division standings, Lynchburg fell to two games out of first place with three weeks left in the first half. The Hillcats have four head-to-head matchups remaining against Salem before the All-Star Break.

After Ockimey’s homer staked the Red Sox to a 3-0 advantage, the Hillcats scored one in the bottom of the fourth when Sicnarf Loopstok was hit by a pitch, stole second, and came home on an RBI double by Willi Castro. Salem restored its three-run margin in the next half-inning when Jose Sermo scored on a Tate Matheny groundout to short.

Lynchburg used four walks to plate its second run of the contest in the sixth. The Hillcats cut it to one in the eighth. Connor Marabell singled, and Andrew Calica followed with a double to advance him to third. Yonathan Mendoza notched his 20th RBI on a groundout to first base, which also moved Calica to third. However, Lynchburg left Calica stranded and went down in order in the ninth to drop the game, 4-3.

Brock Hartson (2-2) allowed four runs on six hits. The right-hander struck out six while walking none and went at least six innings for his fifth straight start since moving into the rotation. Jordan Milbrath tossed three scoreless innings and struck out four out of the bullpen. Daniel McGrath earned his first win of the season by going five innings and holding Lynchburg to one run on two hits.

The Hillcats have an Off Day Tuesday before playing their next eight games on the road. Lynchburg opens a four-game series at Potomac Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Fans can listen to the game live at with pre-game coverage beginning at 7.

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