Wilmington walks off on Lynchburg, 2-1, in 11

lynchburg hillcatsThe Lynchburg HIllcats and Wilmington Blue Rocks were tied 0-0 through 10 innings tonight. Lynchburg scored its first run on a fielder’s choice in the top of the 11th inning, but the Blue Rocks came back with two in the bottom of the frame to walk off with the win. A.J. Holland had a no-hitter going through 4.2 innings tonight, eventually getting through six scoreless and took a no-decision.

Both offenses struggled throughout the night. The Hillcats (5-13, 41-46) didn’t have a runner reach second base until they scored in the 11th frame. Wilmington starter Sam Selman faced the minimum 18 batters through his first six scoreless frames. Selman ended up throwing a season-high 7.1 innings. The Hillcats stranded their first runner in the seventh, and the Kyle Kubitza singled to the lead off the eighth off Selman. The southpaw would pick off Kubitza at first and then get taken out of the game for a right-hander to officially fave right-handed batter David Rohm. Kubitza reached base four times tonight, twice via a walk, once on a fielder’s choice, and the single. He was cut down on a caught stealing in the second inning, doubled off on a line drive in the fifth, and then picked off in eighth.

Kubitza was inches away from being cut down on the bases again in the 11th inning. He walked to lead off the 11th. Rohm sacrificed him to second base, and then a wild pitch allowed him to advance to third. With the infield in, Shawn McGill grounded to the shortstop. Kubitza broke for home and the throw beat him by 15 feet. As the catcher Parker Morin went for the tag, Kubitza side stepped towards foul territory, dodged the tag and scored the game’s first run. The Hillcats took a 1-0 lead to the bottom of the 11th inning.

Holland threw the first six innings scoreless for the Hillcats. Carlos Perez tossed 1.2 innings after that, and John Cornely got the final out of the eighth completed the 10th frame scoreless as well. The closer Nate Hyatt was call upon in the 11th. He gave up a lead off single to Lane Adams. Tyler Chism came up next and was hit by the pitch while trying to put down a sacrifice bunt. With runners at first and second, Daniel Mateo was looking to bunt as well. He was walked on four pitches. The bases were loaded with nobody out. Hyatt responded by striking out the next two batters. Jack Lopez stepped up as the Blue Rocks (13-8, 46-45) last hope. He broke up Holland no-hitter in the fifth, notched his second hit with a soft liner through the right side of the infield. One run came in the bases stayed loaded for Alex McClure. McClure hit a deep fly ball to left field that landed on the warning track beyond Josh Elander’s reach and the game was over.

Culver (4-3) earned the win for the Blue Rocks, while Hyatt (1-3) swallowed the loss for Lynchburg.

Next on tap for the Hillcats is a doubleheader against the Blue Rocks tomorrow at 3:05pm. Game one will see RHP Greg Ross (5-3, 3.09) take the mound for the Hillcats against RHP Kyle Zimmer (3-8, 5.00) for Wilmington. In the night cap, RHP Jarett Miller (6-5, 3.51) toes the rubber for the ‘Cats versus RHP Kellen Moen (1-2, 4.89). The Hillcats On-Deck Show powered by Honda/Suzuki of Lynchburg will be on the air tomorrow beginning at 2:55pm. Erik Wilson will have the call live on 97.9 FM The Planet and online at lynchburg-hillcats.com

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