Two homers down Lynchburg
Brock Hartson retired the first 13 Keys hitters he faced at Nymeo Field Thursday night. However, Frederick used two home runs in the next four batters to score three quick runs and hold on for a 3-1 final in the series opener.
Hartson tied a career high with seven innings, which he also accomplished May 17 against Winston-Salem. After 4 1/3 perfect innings, Yermin Mercedes broke through with a line-drive single to left. Alex Murphy drilled a ball down the left-field line for a two-run homer, his sixth of the season. Two batters later, Armando Araiza hit a solo homer over the left field fence, and the Keys led 3-0. Hartson (2-3) only allowed two other hits the rest of the night and struck out four while walking none.
Lynchburg’s offense finally took the lid off the basket in the ninth. After failing to score for 23 consecutive innings, Sicnarf Loopstok opened the stanza with a single to center. With two outs, Daniel Salters singled to bring the possible tying run to the plate. Yonahtan Mendoza drove in Loopstok to bring the Hillcats within a pair, 3-1, but a strikeout ended the game with runners on the corners.
Lynchburg continues its four-game series against Frederick Friday at 7 p.m. Shane Bieber (1-1, 4.19) will start for the Hillcats against Cody Sedlock (4-4, 6.10). The game can be heard live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com, beginning with pre-game coverage at 6:50 p.m.