Winston-Salem rallies, tops Lynchburg, 5-2

lynchburg hillcatsDaniel Watts tossed four scoreless innings in his Carolina League debut, and Lynchburg held a 2-0 lead through six frames, but a five-run seventh by the Dash proved to be the difference in a 5-2 Hillcats loss at Calvin Falwell Field Saturday night.

Lynchburg (23-25) scored in the second and sixth innings to hold the advantage for the majority of the contest, but Winston-Salem (19-28) pushed five across on three hits and a pair of walks in the seventh to ultimately claim the victory.

Nick Basto, Tim Anderson and Jacob May all posted singles in the tide-turning stanza. Michael Marjama and Courtney Hawkins added walks, and all five players who reached eventually scored. Anderson, May, Jason Coats and Joey DeMichele each had an RBI during the rally.

Matt Chaffee (0-2) suffered the loss after allowing five runs, though two were unearned due to an error by Jose Peraza. Recent Braves signee Daniel Watts did not factor into the decision in his debut, which saw the lefty only allow four baserunners while striking out four in four frames. Ryan Kelly also had an impressive debut for the Hillcats. The off-season addition appeared in his first regular-season game and retired all six batters he faced, including four strikeouts. He struck out all three batters in the eighth inning with only 10 pitches.

Kevin Ahrens plated the first run of the game after leading off the second with a walk, advancing to third on a David Nick base hit, and coming home on an RBI single by Will Skinner.

Skinner extended his season-high hitting streak to seven games with the base hit. He is batting .478 during that stretch with three doubles and six RBIs. The right fielder has also hit safely in 14 of his last 16 contests.

The HIllcats added their final run in the sixth with four straight men reaching base. Kyle Wren singled, Josh Elander was hit by a pitch, and Ahrens singled to load the bases for Nick. Nick walked to pick up his ninth RBI in 16 games and expand the Hillcats lead to 2-0, but Lynchburg left the bases loaded and opened the door for a Dash comeback.

Brad Goldberg (1-4) earned the victory for Winston-Salem with one scoreless inning out of the bullpen, which included two strikeouts. Brandon Hardin worked a perfect ninth for his fourth save of the year.

With the series even, Lynchburg and Winston-Salem will meet again Sunday afternoon at 2:05pm. Greg Ross (3-1, 2.70) will start for the Hillcats against righty J.B. Wendelken (4-4, 4.30). Gates open at 1pm, and select Hillcats players will be signing autographs in the concourse area for the first half-hour. The game will be available on 97.9 The Planet beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show presented by Amtrak Virginia at 1:40pm.

         
 

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