Wild night on the mound dooms Lynchburg
The Nationals took advantage of four first inning walks issued by the Hillcats’ starter, Ronan Pacheco, to take an immediate 5-0 lead. The Hillcats were unable to erase the early deficit and fell 11-4. Lynchburg lost for the second night in a row but are still in first place at 5-2.
Right fielder Randolph Oduber and second baseman Adrian Sanchez both drove in two runs in the first inning for Potomac. All four walks issued by Pacheco scored in the inning. The Hillcats fell behind 5-0 after one inning of play.
Pacheco went on to walk seven in just three innings of work, surrendering eight runs, six earned, on just three hits en route to his first loss of the season.
An error led to a pair of unearned runs against the Hillcats in the second inning. With runners at first and second, designated hitter Sean Nicol hit a ground ball to third baseman Edward Salcedo. Salcedo fielded and threw the ball past Tommy La Stella at second base, allowing a run to score. With runners at first and third, the next batter, Justin Bloxom hit into a 6-4-3 double play and another run came home. The Nationals led 7-0.
The Hillcats got on the board in the top of the third inning. Catcher Evan Gattis hit a solo shot over the left field wall. It was his second home run in consecutive nights. He finished the game 2-for-2 with a home run, two RBI, a pair of walks and a hit by pitch.
It was 7-1 Potomac after three innings.
RHP Caleb Brewer relieved Pacheco in the fourth. He held the Nationals scoreless for three innings. In the seventh, he gave up a single and walked a batter before giving up a three-run shot to left fielder Kevin Keyes. It was 11-3 after seven innings.
Lynchburg added one more inconsequential run in the ninth. Salcedo doubled in Gattis with two outs making it 11-4 and that would be the final.
LHP Bobby Hansen (1-1) went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks. He earned his first win of the season, while Pacheco (0-1) took the loss.
The Hillcats fall for the second night in a row and are now 5-2. The Nationals improved to 3-4 with the win.
Game two of the three-game series is set for Saturday at 6:35pm. RHP J.R. Graham will start for the ‘Cats against RHP Adam Olbrychowski for Potomac. The Hillcats On-Deck Show will go on the air at 6:10pm. Listen live to all the action with Erik Wilson on 105.5 KD Country.