\\"Cats Clinch Playoff Spot with First-Half Title

Lynchburg Hillcats

June 18, 2017 - Carolina League (CarL) - Lynchburg Hillcats

News Release

*FREDERICK, Md.* - After hitting a franchise-record six home runs Saturday night, the Hillcats belted four Sunday afternoon. However, Frederick built an early 9-1 lead with three home runs of its own and led comfortably the rest of the way to defeat Lynchburg 11-5 at Nymeo Field.

Because Salem dropped both ends of a doubleheader at Wilmington, both Lynchburg and the Red Sox finished with identical 40-29 records at the All-Star Break. With a 7-6 head-to-head record favoring the Hillcats, Lynchburg claimed the first-half title to secure a playoff berth for the sixth straight year.

Two Frederick players had multi-homer games before the contest ended. *Austin Hays *went 5-5 with two doubles and two home runs, recording six RBIs and scoring four runs. *Ademar Rifaela *finished 2-5 with a pair of homers and three RBIs.

The Hillcats scored all five of their runs on the long ball. *Ka'ai Tom *had a solo homer to lead off the third inning, but the Hillcats trailed 7-1 at that point. In the seventh, *Anthony Miller *blasted a two-run homer over the center-field fence for his second homer of the year, making it a 9-3 game.

Back-to-back home runs in the ninth made the final score 11-5. *Sam Haggerty *hit his second of the season, while *Claudio Bautista *had a pinch-hit home run immediately afterward.

*Triston McKenzie *(5-4) struggled on a hot, humid day with the wind blowing out to left field. He surrendered seven runs on six hits, which included three homers to left. He exited after 1 2/3 innings. *Ofelky Peralta *earned the victory with eight strikeouts, holding the Hillcats to one run in five innings.

*Brock Hartson *received good news during the game when he learned he had been added to the Carolina League All-Star Classic, giving Lynchburg a total of seven representatives on the Northern Division roster for Tuesday's game. The Hillcats will also send *McKenzie, Shao-Ching Chiang, Argenis Angulo, Sam Haggerty, Sicnarf Loopstok, *and *Willi Castro *to Salem.

Lynchburg plays Frederick upon its return from the All-Star Break Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The Hillcats will host the Keys at City Stadium for a four-game series. *Shane Bieber *(2-1, 3.86) is expected to start for Lynchburg. The game can be heard live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com, beginning with pre-game coverage at 6:20 p.m.

• Discuss this story on the Carolina League message board