Hillcats Outslug Keys to Sixth Straight Win
Lynchburg, Va. - Following a 2:16 rain delay before first pitch, the Hillcats stayed hot at the plate, putting together four multi-run innings, to edge the Keys, 13-12, Tuesday night.
The Hillcats (20-17), extend their winning streak to six consecutive games, coming from behind on three seperate occasions to defeat Frederick (15-23), in a game that featured two ties and five lead changes.
With the game tied at 8-8 in the sixth inning, Lynchburg batted around, scoring five runs in the frame, taking the lead on a two-run double from Gavin Collins. The Hillcats tallied six hits in the inning, with Anthony Miller and Dillon Persinger also driving home runs, while also plating a run on a Frederick error.
The Keys opened the scoring in the second inning when Wilson Garica walked, and Jomar Reyes boubled. T.J Nichting followed with an RBI single, and two batters later Alejandro Juvier grounded out to bring home a run to make it 2-0 Frederick.
In the home half of the second, the Hillcats surged ahead. Following back-to-back walks to Trenton Brooks and Jodd Carter to begin the inning, Anthony Miller launched his first home run of the year, to straight away center field, to make it 3-2 Lynchburg.
The Keys used a Cole Billingsley RBI Double and a Garcia sacrifice fly to plate a pair of runs in the top of the third to regain the lead at 4-3.
The seesaw battle continued in the bottom of the third. After Alexis Pantoja doubled to lead off the inning, Mitch Longo walked, and Conner Capel came through with a run scoring single to tie the game at 4-4. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Miller lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to score Collins and put the Hillcats ahead 5-4.
Hillcats starter Micah Miniard quickly retired the first two batters in the fourth, but after hitting Chris Clare with a pitch, lost the strike zone, walking the next three batters to plate a run. Miniard was lifted for Jared Robinson (win, 1-0), who surrendered a bases clearing double to Garcia to put the Keys ahead 8-5.
Robinson would bounced back to work 2.1 scoreless innings, striking out four, to pick up his first victory of the season, in his first appearance for the Hillcats.
Miniard lasted 3.2 innings, giving up eight runs, seven earned, on four hits. He walked four and struck out two.
After the Hillcats batted around in the sixth, the Keys stormed back in the seventh, stringing together four straight hits, and scoring four runs off of reliever Billy Strode. Rougie Odor then turned to Justin Garcia, who came on to strike out Reyes and maintain the one-run lead at 13-12.
Garcia stayed in to work a scoreless eighth inning, and Dalbert Siri (save, 1) tossed a three-up-three-down ninth to earn his first save of the season.
The Hillcats and Keys are back in action Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. when Lynchburg sends lefty Sam Hentges (3-1, 2.88) to the bump to face off with fellow left-hander Alex Wells (0-3, 4.42).
It's Winning Wednesday at City Stadium, where all fans in attendance will receive a free ticket to the next Wednesday home contest.
Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air at 6:20 p.m. with the pregame show, and can be heard on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
For tickets and more information visit Lynchburg-hillcats.com, the City Stadium box office, or call 434-528-1144.
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