June 17, 2017 - Carolina League (CarL) - Lynchburg Hillcats
FREDERICK, Md. - Lynchburg hit a franchise-record six home runs to defeat Frederick, 12-5, and pull within a half-game of first place heading into the final day before the All-Star Break. Saturday night's barrage included four home runs in one inning and the first set of back-to-back-to-back home runs for the Hillcats since June 1, 1997.
Jodd Carter had the first multi-homer game of his professional career after leaving the yard for the first time in the second inning. After a two-out error extended the frame, Carter belted a ball that clanged off the left-field foul pole for a three-run homer to give Lynchburg a 3-0 lead. Ka'ai Tom doubled to drive in Sam Haggerty later in the frame and stake the Hillcats to a 4-0 advantage at the end of the second. Frederick used home runs by Alex Murphy and Ademar Rifaela to cut the margin to 4-3 by the end of the third.
In a 4-3 contest, Carter led off the sixth inning with a walk, and Haggerty singled to put the first two men aboard. Tom lined a ball to left-center field for an opposite-field three-run homer. Sicnarf Loopstok followed with a home run to left field to make it 7-3, and Martin Cervenka sent a ball over the fence in right-center field to give the Hillcats three consecutive home runs. It marked the first time the feat had been accomplished by the Hillcats since June 1, 1997, when they also did it at Nymeo Field in Frederick.
Three batters later, Yonathan Mendoza hit a solo home run to right field to make it 10-3 and give Lynchburg its fourth homer of the inning. Leading off the seventh, Carter crushed a ball over the left -field fence for a franchise-record sixth home run. The Hillcats had hit five homers in a game three times in franchise history.
Carter and Tom both tied career highs with four RBIs. Carter and Loopstok are now tied for the team lead with eight home runs for the season. An RBI single by Anthony Miller in the eighth inning drove in Willi Castro for the 12th run of the game.
Aaron Civale (3-1) went seven innings and held Frederick to three runs on six hits. Last year's third-round pick struck out eight while walking none. Brian Gonzalez (2-5) took the loss even though he only surrendered four unearned runs in three-plus innings on the mound.
The Hillcats are now a half-game back in the Northern Division first-half standings. Salem, the first-place team, will play a doubleheader at Wilmington Sunday afternoon, while Lynchburg will send Triston McKenzie (5-3, 2.45) to the mound for Sunday's game at Frederick at 2 p.m. The game can be heard live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com, beginning with pre-game coverage at 1:50 p.m.