Hillcats Hold on to Win Series Opener
LYNCHBURG, VA - The Lynchburg Hillcats scored the first five runs before holding on for a 5-4 win over the Winston-Salem Dash Sunday night at City Stadium. Williams Perez had another quality start with seven innings of two-run baseball. The four-run frame for the Hillcats was helped along by a two-out error that allowed two runs to score. David Rohm and Anthony Nunez each picked up RBI in the win.
After scoring the final five runs of Saturday's series finale in Wilmington, DE, the Hillcats (19-26, 55-59) picked up right where they left off; scoring in the bottom of the first Sunday night. Levi Hyams dropped down a bunt single with one out and promptly stole second. David Rohm, who's bases-loaded triple tied the game last night, singled on a liner to right-center to score Hyams and give the Hillcats an early 1-0 advantage.
Perez (5-1) was in command of the Dash (22-26, 60-58) offense from the get go, shutting out Winston-Salem through the first five innings. He gave up runs in the sixth and seventh and left after the seventh, surrendering two runs on six hits while striking out five.
The first three hitters all reached in the Lynchburg fourth to load the bases. Emerson Landoni hit a line drive towards the left-center field gap but SS Chris Curley elevated to snare the shot for out number one. The next batter, Anthony Nunez, hit an RBI groundout to push the first run of the inning across. The next three runs were all scored without a hit. Elmer Reyes scored on a wild pitch before Curley bobbled the grounder off the bat of Hyams to allow two runs to score and make it 5-0 Lynchburg.
The Dash finally got to Perez in the sixth. Micah Johnson led off the inning with a single and stole second base for Joey DeMichael, who grounded a single through the middle to plate Johnson and get the Dash on the board. Rangel Ravelo led off the seventh with a double and later scored on an RBI-groundout from Grant Buckner to make it 5-2.
Bryan Blough (9-10) settled in after his rough fourth inning, retiring the final ten batters he faced. Blough went seven innings and allowing five runs, three earned, on six hits while striking out seven and walking one.
The Dash scored two more runs in the eighth inning and stranded the bases loaded. Chasen Shreve came on in relief of Perez and got a lineout to lead off the inning before a walk and single put two aboard. Shreve struck out Courtney Hawkins before getting lifted for Nate Hyatt, who gave up back-to-back RBI singles to make it a one-run game. He then walked Mark Haddow to load the bases for nine-hole hitter Grant Buckner, who popped out on the infield to end the threat. Both runs were charged to Shreve.
Hyatt returned to the mound in the ninth and gave up a leadoff double to Micah Johnson but cut him down at third on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Joey DeMichael. Curley then hit a rocket shot at Elmer Reyes, who knocked it down and started a 6-4-3 game-ending double play.
The Hillcats and Dash continue their three-game set on Monday at 7:05pm at City Stadium. Gates open at 6pm and fans can get select menu items for just $1 courtesy of ABC 13. Ryan Hinson (2-2, 2.25) takes the mound for Lynchburg against Myles Jaye (7-6, 4.53) for the Dash. Erik Wilson and Jake Levy will have the broadcast, starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show at 6:40pm on 97.9 FM The Planet and lynchburg-hillcats.com.
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