Wakamatsu goes deep twice, but Hillcats still fall to Dash
Lynchburg (18-21, 50-56) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead against Winston-Salem (19-21, 57-47) before the Dash rallied for nine runs on 14 hits to take the series.
Down 9-7 entering the ninth inning, Mitch Reeves reached on a two out single to bring the tying run to the plate. The hit drilled pitcher Kevin Escorcia, causing the left-hander to leave the game. Bennett Sousa (Save, 6) came on to face Will Benson, who flew out to the warning track in right-center field to end the game.
Lynchburg plated three runs in the first to take an early 3-0 lead. Tyler Freeman led off the ballgame with a triple and scored on an RBI single by Steven Kwan. The big inning continued after Reeves and Benson both walked to load the bases. Wilbis Santiago then extended his hitting streak to 20 consecutive games with an RBI single to score Kwan, and Mike Rivera drove home Reeves with a sacrifice fly.
The Dash countered with six runs in the bottom of the first, sending 11 hitters to the plate and connecting for seven hits. Steele Walker singled and Johan Cruz doubled to put runners at second and third. A sacrifice fly by Andrew Vaughn got Winston-Salem on the board as Walker scored. After Cruz scored on a wild pitch, Craig Dedelow and Jameson Fisher singled and Carlos Perez walked to load the bases. Tate Blackman and JJ Muno delivered back-to-back RBI singles and Yeyson Yrizarri plated a run on a fielder’s choice. In his second at-bat of the frame, Walker connected on an RBI single to give the Dash a 6-3 lead after the first inning.
Lynchburg tagged the White Sox affiliate for two more runs in the second. Jonathan Laureano walked to lead off the inning and Luke Wakamatsu belted a two-run homer, his first of two long balls on the night, to make it a one-run contest at 6-5.
In the third, the Dash got those two runs back. Walker blasted a two-run shot, his eighth home run of the season, to extend the Dash’s lead to 9-5.
Wakamatsu trimmed the deficit in half with one swing in seventh. The second baseman hit his second two-run homer of the day, his sixth of the season, to bring Lynchburg within 9-7.
The two-homer night was the first of Wakamatsu’s career and the 4 RBIs matched a career high.
The game was delayed 22 minutes in the top of the sixth inning for severe lightning around BB&T Ballpark.
Kirk McCarty (Loss, 2-4) started for the Hillcats. The left-hander went two innings and allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits. Aaron Pinto surrendered two runs in two innings and Justin Garza fired four scoreless innings in his first relief outing of the season.
Jake Elliott got the start for the Dash, logging two innings and giving up five runs on four hits, walking three. Jacob Lindgren (Win, 1-0) worked three scoreless, while Jose Nin gave up two runs in the seventh. Luis Ledo tossed a clean eighth inning, before Escorcia picked up two outs in the ninth and Sousa collected the final out of the game.
The Hillcats will now begin the second leg of their season-high 15 game road trip, beginning on Friday with a three-game series against the Salem Red Sox, A-Adv. affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Lynchburg will send right-hander Juan Mota (2-0, 3.27) to the mound against Salem lefty Jhonthan Diaz (6-6, 4.27). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Haley Toyota Field.
Max Gun and Emily Messina will be on the air at 6:55 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
The Hillcats will return to City Stadium on August 16 when the Carolina Mudcats, A-Adv. affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers come to town for a three-game set. Weekend highlights include First Responders Night on Saturday with post-game fireworks sponsored by Hill City Pharmacy. Friday’s contest will also feature a post-game fireworks show presented by Pepsi. Sunday’s game will be a Sandlot Sunday where all kids in attendance will be able to run the bases after the conclusion of the game.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.