UVA baseball alum Mike Papi homers twice for Lynchburg in win
Lynchburg used four home runs, including two in the 10th inning and two by Mike Papi, to outlast Frederick in an 8-5 victory in 10 innings Saturday afternoon. Claudio Bautista and Taylor Murphy added the other two home runs to push the Hillcats’ league-leading total to 12 homers through the first 10 games of the season.
Seven of Lynchburg’s eight runs in the game came courtesy of the long ball. Mike Papi started the scoring in the second inning with a one-out solo home run to right field. Frederick tied the game in the fourth with an RBI single by Jonah Heim.
With the score still knotted in the sixth, Taylor Murphy drilled a two-run homer to right field to push the Hillcats back on top, 3-1. The only run for Lynchburg on a ball that stayed in the park came in the seventh inning when Dorssys Paulino hit a two-out double, and Bobby Bradley drove him in with a single to right field.
Frederick plated a couple in the seventh to cut it to a 4-3 margin. In the ninth inning, with Frederick down to its last strike, Aderlin Rodrgiuez crushed a home run over the left-field fence to tie the game and force extra innings.
In the 10th, Lynchburg used the deep fly to take the lead for good. Mike Papi opened the frame with a solo home run to right for the first multi-homer game of his career. After a base hit by Sicnarf Loopstok and a two-out walk to Greg Allen, Claudio Bautista planted an opposite-field home run over the right field wall to make it 8-4 in favor of the Hillcats.
Sean Brady had a solid start and was in line for the victory before Frederick tied the game with two outs in the 10th. The left-hander went 5 1/3 innings, tying his career high with seven strikeouts during that time. He held the Keys to one run on seven hits and a walk.
Justin Garcia earned his league-best third hold of the season with 1 2/3 innings of middle relief. Robbie Aviles blew a save opportunity in the ninth but received the win after two innings in which the only run he allowed was Rodriguez’s homer. Cameron Hill conceded a run in the bottom of the 10th in a non-save situation.
Lynchburg’s 12 home runs through 10 games easily pace the Carolina League, as the next-closest team is Potomac with seven…The Hillcats record for most home runs in a game is five, which the team has accomplished three times…The most recent occurrence was last year against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on July 22, 2015…The Hillcats have hit at least one home run in eight of their 10 games.
Lynchburg will attempt to sweep a four-game series at Frederick for the first time since June 14-17, 2012. Justus Sheffield (1-0, 2.00) will start for the Hillcats against lefty Mitch Horacek of Frederick. The game will start at 2 p.m., and ans can listen to the action on 93.3 FM and 1320 AM as well as www.lynchburg-hillcats.com, beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show at 1:45 p.m.