Winston-Salem snaps Hillcats winning streak, 5-4

lynchburg hillcatsJustin Bloxom and Kevin Ahrens each had solo home runs Thursday night, but the Hillcats could not complete the sweep at BB&T Ballpark and fell to Winston-Salem, 5-4.

Tied at 4-all, a two-out error in the eighth inning cost Lynchburg (62-60). Jake Peter hit a high popup to the left side of the infield, but Eric Garcia misplayed it and Peter reached second base when the ball hit the ground. Peter scored one batter later on an RBI single by Keenyn Walker to push the Dash (55-67) ahead, 5-4.

Mauricio Cabrera (1-1) suffered the tough loss after the unearned run was charged to him, while Sean Hagan (2-0) received the victory after giving up two runs in three innings of work. Zach Isler pitched a perfect ninth for his second save of the season. Lucas Sims did not factor into the decision despite his seventh straight quality start. The right-hander allowed two runs on five hits in six innings.

Lynchburg held a 2-0 lead early in the action. Blake Brown drew a one-out walk in the third inning and came around to score on an RBI single by Garcia. In the next frame, Bloxom hit his second home run with the Hillcats to lead off the fourth.

With the Hillcats in front, 2-0, Winston-Salem broke through in the bottom of the fourth when Michael Marjama singled to right field with one out and then scored without the ball being put in play again. Trey Michalczewski walked, and Nick Basto was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Sims then hit Narvaez with a curveball on the foot to bring home Marjama and cut the Lynchburg lead to 2-1.

The Dash tied the game with an RBI double by Marjama in the sixth and proceeded to take the lead in the seventh with a pair of runs. Walker hit a one-out triple and scored on a base hit by Adam Engel. Engel then scored from first base courtesy of a double by Cleuluis Rondon. Winston-Salem claimed a 4-2 advantage heading into the seventh.

The Hillcats responded quickly thanks to a leadoff double by Levi Hyams. He scored after back-to-back groundouts with Bloxom picking up his 19th RBI with Lynchburg. With the bases empty and two outs in the seventh, Ahrens drove his sixth home run of the season over to left field fence to knot the score, 4-4.

The loss snapped the Hillcats’ five-game winning streak. Lynchburg claimed the season series against Winston-Salem for the third straight season after going 12-8 against the Dash in 2014.

Lynchburg continues its road trip in Frederick Friday night. Cody Scarpetta (3-6, 4.25) will take the mound against lefty Matt Taylor (5-2, 2.36). First pitch is scheduled for 7pm, and fans can tune in to 97.9 The Planet beginning at 6:40pm to listen to the action.

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