Lynchburg Hillcats Game Notes
First-place is on the line tonight as Lynchburg and Potomac play the middle game of a three-game series at Lynchburg City Stadium... Last night, Lynchburg dropped their third straight game, falling 10-5 to Potomac...The Cats have now dropped six of their last seven games...Lynchburg is now tied atop the Northern Division with Potomac...Both teams lead the Frederick Keys by just 0.5- games in the Division...The Cats are in a stretch of playing 21 out of 31 games away from Lynchburg City Stadium (10-12)...
National Report: Potomac has won 11 of their last 18 contests, including three of their last five games...
In a roster move announced today, RHP Chris Young (see page 4) has been added to the Hillcats roster. The former 18th round selection of Colorado in 2002 began the year in Tulsa (AA, Texas League), going 3-2 with a 4.75 ERA (53.0 ip, 53 h, 29 r, 28 er, 17 bb, 35 k). The Pirates acquired the right-hander in a trade with Colorado for a player to be named later (By 10/15/05). To make room on the active 25- man roster, RHP Dustin Craig has been reassigned to Hickory (A, SAL). In his only appearance last night, Craig went two scoreless innings of relief in a Lynchburg 10-5 loss.
Tonight, the Hillcats send LHP Derrick Van Dusen to the mound hoping to return to first-place against LHP Mike Hinckley, who seeks his first victory since 6/26 vs. Frederick. Hinckley, 23, is a 6-3, 170-pound left-hander drafted by Montreal in the 3rd round of the 2001 draft out of Moore (OK) High School. The Oklahoma City native entered the 2005 season rated by Baseball America as the number one prospect in the Nationals system. After a promotion to Double-A Harrisburg last season, he went 5-2, 2.87 ERA (94.0 ip, 83 h, 34 r, 30 er, 23 bb, 80 k) in 16 gs. In total, he led all Expos minor leaguers in wins (11) and strikeouts (131). Has entered each of the last three seasons ranked as either the number one or number two prospect in the Montreal/Washington system according to Baseball America.
Hinckley has gone 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 1 G, 1 GS vs. LYN in 2005 (6.0 ip, 9 h, 4 r, 3 er, 3 bb, 5 k, .346)
MH @ LYN, 5/31-1 (L, 4-2): L, 6.0 ip, 9 h, 4 r, 3 er, 3 bb, 5 k (RBI-1Bs by Guzman, McCuistion; RBI-2B by Magness; earned CG loss)
Van Dusen is making his 16th start and first of the season against the Potomac Nationals.
2005 SERIES WITH POTOMAC
Lynchburg leads the season series 11-7. These two teams are meeting just seven times in the second half. The Nationals won the 2004 series, 13-7, after winning eight of the last 11 games last season. The Cats and Nationals tied 10-10 in 2003. The Nats won the 2001 series, 11-9 -- the first time the Nationals ever won a season series over the Cats.
Overall, the Hillcats lead the lifetime series, 119-99 (.546) including a 63-48 (.568) advantage in Lynchburg.
Cats + Nats = Close Calls: 33 of the last 48 G of the series (03-05) have been decided by 3 or fewer (15 by 1 R, 10 by 2 R, 8 by 3 R).
OF Pat Magness has walked a Hillcats-franchise record 104 times this season in 103 games played...The previous record of 94 free passes was held by Eddy Furniss (1999)...OF Vic Buttler has hit safely in each of his last 2 games (4-8, 1-3) and equaled a Hillcats seasonhigh by scoring 4 runs in Sunday's 10-9 loss to Myrtle Beach...The slugger has also recorded 9 multi-hit games in his last 16 starts...C Mike McCuistion has connected on HRs in each of his last 2 games...He now has 5 for the season, eclipsing his career-high (4, 2004).
Former Hillcats pitcher Zach Duke (2004) improved to 4-0 yesterday by tossing 8 and 1/3 innings of one run baseball in a Pirates 4-1 victory yesterday in Atlanta. Only two major leaguers have ever posted a lower ERA in their first six career starts (Steve Rogers, Fernando Valenzuela). In addition, his 0.87 ERA led all major league starters who threw at least 25 innings in July.
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