Wild pitch plates walkoff in Lynchburg Hillcats win

lynchburg hillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats walked off on the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 3-2, Saturday night on a wild pitch that allowed David Rohm to score from third.  The wild pitch capped off a three-error inning by the Blue Rocks to allow the Hillcats to score the tying and winning runs.  A.J. Holland went 6.2 innings and gave up two runs in a no-decision for the Hillcats.

The Hillcats (14-13) had struggled through 17 innings against Wilmington (14-15), picking up one run on five hits.  Robby Hefflinger led off the ninth of tonight’s game two with a seeing-eye single up the middle. Will Skinner entered the game in Hefflinger’s stead at first.  Fernando De Los Santos laid down a sacrifice bunt attempt and Blue Rocks pitcher Robinson Yambati couldn’t scoop it.  Rohm followed with another bunt attempt that Yambati couldn’t handle, loading the bases with nobody out.

Yambati was able to strike out Matt Lipka. The next hitter, Elmer Reyes, hit a ground ball to Jack Lopez at shortstop, who booted the ball, and Skinner came across to tie the game.  De Los Santos got caught between third and home for out number two, but stayed alive long enough to let Rohm get to third.  The first pitch to the next hitter Brownsten sailed to the backstop and Rohm scampered home to win it.

A.J. Holland went 6.2 innings to get a no decision in the game.  After a seven-inning effort his last time out, Holland (2-2) gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk while fanning three.  He gave up a run in the second on an RBI-single from Parker Morin and a solo home run to Chesler Cuthbert in the sixth to make it 2-0 Blue Rocks.

The Hillcats got their first run of the series in the bottom of the sixth.  Wilmington starter Kyle Zimmer didn’t give up a hit through the first five innings.  Lipka led off the sixth with a bunt single and advanced to second on a Reyes sacrifice bunt. Cory Brownsten was hit by a pitch and Matt Weaver followed with a slow roller to second.  The Rocks tried to turn two but Weaver beat the play at first and Lipka hustled all the way from second to slide in safe at home, making it 2-1.

That score held until the ninth.  Wilson Rivera and Nate Hyatt (1-0) combined for 2.1 scoreless innings to keep the Hillcats down by one heading into the home half of the ninth and eventually tie the series at one.

The win guarantees a winning home stand for Lynchburg.  The home stand wraps up Sunday with the rubber match between the Rocks and Cats.  First pitch is 2:05pm with gates opening at 1pm.  It’s Little League Day at City Stadium with the first thousand fans getting a free 2013 team photo, sponsored by Lynchburg Camera Shop and WYYD.  It’s also Faith Sunday with Christian music pregame and kids who are members of Southpaw’s Kids Club, presented by Yogurt Yeti, will get a voucher for a free meal.   The Hillcats send Jarrett Miller (2-0, 1.80) to the mound against lefty John Lamb (2-2, 3.32) for Wilmington.  If you can’t make it to the game, join Erik Wilson and Jake Levy for all the play-by-play, beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show, powered by Honda/Suzuki of Lynchburg, starting at 1:40pm on 97.9 FM The Planet and lynchburg-hillcats.com.

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