Salem’s seven-run fifth sinks Lynchburg
Four different Lynchburg Hillcats had multi-hit games, but six unearned runs in the fifth inning allowed Salem to break the game wide open en route to a 11-5 final Tuesday night at City Stadium.
Lynchburg led briefly after the first inning thanks to two runs scoring on a hit and a pair of errors. Sam Haggerty walked to open the frame. He advanced to second base when he got caught in a rundown on a pickoff throw but was able to avoid a tag halfway between the bases and scamper into the bag. Ka’ai Tom singled. Travis Lakins attempted to pick him off but the throw hit Tom in the helmet, which allowed Haggerty to score. Later in the frame, Mendoza blooped a single into shallow center field to give the ‘Cats a 2-1 lead.
Salem immediately answered with two runs in the top of the second. Jordan Betts and Bryan Hudson notched the RBIs, whileDerek Miller and Austin Rei plated the runs. Leading 3-2, the Red Sox pushed seven runs across in the fifth on four hits and two errors. Josh Ockimey and Rei each had doubles early in the rally, while Josh Tobias capped off the barrage with a three-run home to straightaway center field.
Down 10-2 in the eighth, Lynchburg logged four consecutive two-out hits to cut it to 10-5. Martin Cervenka and Connor Marabellsingled to spark the late-inning surge. Yonathan Mendoza yanked a triple into right-center field to drive both of them in. Sicnarf Loopstok followed with a double to left field to bring home Mendoza, who finished the contest 3-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. Tom, Cervenka, and Marabell all went 2-4 and scored once.
Lynchburg will try to salvage the series finale Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. It’s the first “Winning Wednesday” of the season. Every fan that shows up to City Stadium for the game will receive a voucher for a free ticket to either the May 3 game at 11 a.m., or the May 10 contest at 6:30 p.m. Thomas Pannone (0-0, 0.00) will start for the Hillcats after striking out eight in five scoreless innings in his first outing of the year.