Lynchburg Hillcats Game NotesJune 21, 2012 - Carolina League (CarL) Lynchburg Hillcats
June 21st, 2012 -- 7:05 PM
Calvin Falwell Field at Lynchburg City Stadium
RHP Keith Couch (6-4, 3.32) vs LHP Chris Masters (0-2, 7.20)
THE HILLCATS: Tonight, the 'Cats begin the second half against the Salem Red Sox...They finished the first half 39-31, eight games better than any other team in the Northern Division, and secured a playoff spot come September...Lynchburg finished the first half on a very strong note, sweeping the Frederick Keys in the finsl weekend, and winning nine of their last ten games before the break...
VS. SALEM: Lynchburg is 4-6 against the Red Sox this season, 2-4 at home and 2-2 on the road...Salem has won the last two series between the two clubs...The 'Cats went 4-6 at home against Salem last season...Overall last year, Lynchburg lost the season series 7-13...Lynchburg trails in the All-Time series 155-183...
CAROLINA WINS IN WINSTON: The Carolina League snapped a three-year losing streak against the California League Tuesday with an emphatic 9-1 victory...California took the early lead as SS Billy Hamilton (Bakersfield), later named MVP for his team, led off the game with a bunt single, stole second and third base, and scored on a groundout...Carolina took care of the rest of the scoring, highlighted by a two-run homer for 1B Travis Shaw (Salem)...Shaw would be named Carolina's MVP...Carolina scored a run in every inning from the third to the seventh...The winning pitcher, RHP Sugar Ray Marimon (Wilmington), pitched a scoreless fourth in a 1-1 tie before Carolina took a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the inning...Surrendering those three runs was RHP Bobby Doran (Lancaster), and he suffered the loss...
HILLCATS ALL-STAR HIGHLIGHTS: The Hillcats had five 2012 Mid-season All-Stars, most in the Carolina League...Four Hillcats took the infield together for the last four innings of the game...2B Tommy La Stella started and played the whole game, while 1B Chris Garcia, SS Nick Ahmed, and C Braeden Schlehuber all entered as reserves in sixth...RHP J.R. Graham pitched a scoreless third inning, allowing no hits and walking one...La Stella went 1-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored...Garcia went 1-for-1 with an RBI double and a run scored, while Schlehuber and Ahmed both went 0-for-2...All five Hillcats were playing in their first professional All-Star game with affiliated minor league baseball...
CARRY THE EIGHT: SS Nick Ahmed starts the second half with an eight-game hitting streak from the first half...He is 10-for-33 (.303) during the streak, with four doubles, a triple, and homer...Has scored a run in seven of the eight games, eight runs total, and driven in five...His hot hitting ranges past his last eight games, as he has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 (17-for-55, .309)...The only hitless game mixed in was a seven-inning game in which he went 0-for-1 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt...Has six double, a triple, two home runs, ten runs, and nine RBI in his last 14 games...His average was down to .248 (lowest since 4/10, .200)...Has raised it 13 points to .262 during the 14-game stretch...
FIRST HALF ROUND-UP: The Hillcats and the Winston-Salem Dash are headed to the playoffs for finishing first in the Northern and Southern Division respectively...The Myrtle Beach Pelicans ran away with the first half team ERA crown (2.95), while also fanning a league-best 568 batters and a league-most nine shutouts...The Dash led the league in batting at .280...Also posted league-best marks in homers (66), RBI (364), runs (388), and slugging (.439)...They also posted the league's best record (44-25) and had the best winning streak of ten games from 4/22-5/1...
HILLCATS HALF: Lynchburg began the season 5-0, which was the best start to a season in Hillcats history (which dates back to 1995)...They were the only Northern Division team to win on Opening Day and maintained their first place standing wire-to-wire in the first half, despite an eight-game losing streak from 5/30-6/5...The opening five-game winning streak was matched once (6/6-6/13) but never surpassed in before the break...Individually, 2B Tommy La Stella turned in the team's best hitting streak at 13 games (5/12-5/25)...The team-leader in home runs was Evan Gattis who hit nine in just 21 games before getting promoted to Double-A Mississippi...C Braeden Schlehuber is the current team leader with eight, a personal career-high for a single season...RHPs J.R. Graham and RHP Gus Schlosser were the only two pitchers in the circuit to win eight games, while reliever Juan Jaime made a league-most appearances (26) and finished every game he appeared in...
FIRST HALF MVP?: C Braeden Schlehuber hit a team-best .313 in the first half, which would rank sixth in the league but he still doesn't qualify after splitting catching time with Evan Gattis in April...He leads the current Hillcats with eight home runs and has driven in 27 runs in 46 games, which is the second-best pace on the team to 2B Tommy La Stella's 40 RBI in 62 games...Meanwhile, La Stella has been batting third all year, and Schlehuber usually hits eighth or ninth...Tied for the team lead in hit by pitches (9 with La Stella)...Has only walked six times, but has also only struck out 25 times...
TONIGHT'S OPPOSING PITCHER: RHP Keith Couch was selected in the 13th round in 2010 by the Boston Red Sox...He signed out of Adelphi University in New York...Originally from Elmont, NY (20 miles east of Manhattan)...He began his career with the Lowell Spinners in the Short-Season Class-A New York Penn League...Went 1-6 with a 4.39 ERA in 14 appearances, 11 starts...Struck out 43 in 55.1 innings...Spent last year in the Low-A 'Sally' League, with the Greenville Drive...Went 7-5 with 3.54 ERA in 28 appearances, 18 starts...Led the team in strikeouts (123), finished ninth in the league in ERA...Best control in Red Sox organization according to Baseball America...Is 6-4 with a 3.32 ERA this year in 14 appearances, eight starts...Surrendered five runs in four innings at Lynchburg 4/11, and then blanked the 'Cats for six innings five days later, 4/16...Last faced the Hillcats on 5/30...Pitched one inning in relief, gave up one unearned run on two hits and awalk...Has struck out 17 Hillcats in 12 innings against them...Has surrendered one run or less in three of his last four starts...
Carolina League Stories from June 21, 2012
- P-Nats Walk-Off in Extras to Start Second Half - Potomac Nationals
- Mudcats Overwhelm Blue Rocks, 7-3 - Wilmington Blue Rocks
- Aguilar, Wolters Shine in Rout of Blue Rocks - Carolina Mudcats
- Unearned Run Pushes Potomac to Win in 10th - Winston-Salem Dash
- Keys Stumble Late for Seventh Consecutive Loss - Frederick Keys
- Pelicans Two-Hit Keys to Start Second Half - Myrtle Beach Pelicans
- Epic Rain Postpones Second-Half Opener - Salem Red Sox
- 'Cats and Sox Postponed Due to Weather - Lynchburg Hillcats
- Blue Rocks Game Notes - Wilmington Blue Rocks
- Ventura to Play in Futures Game, Myers & Odorizzi Too - Wilmington Blue Rocks
- INF Mark DeRosa Rehabbing with Potomac Tonight - Potomac Nationals
- Bundy Selected to Futures All-Star Game - Frederick Keys
- Carlos Sanchez Selected to All-Star Futures Game - Winston-Salem Dash
- Lynchburg Hillcats Game Notes - Lynchburg Hillcats
- Pelicans Face Bundy Saturday in Frederick - Myrtle Beach Pelicans
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