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Melendez, Pratto Lead Blue Rocks Past Hillcats

June 14, 2019 - Carolina League (CarL) - Lynchburg Hillcats News Release

Lynchburg, Va. - The Lynchburg Hillcats couldn't complete their comeback effort on Friday against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, dropping the game 3-1.

For the second game in a row, the Hillcats (32-33) failed to score until late in the game, and it was their downfall against the Blue Rocks (42-25).

Much like Thursday night's game, the Hillcats and Blue Rocks got strong starts from their staff. It wasn't until the top of the sixth that Wilmington would break through. Brewer Hicklen led off the frame with a single. MJ Melendez followed that up with an RBI triple to give the Blue Rocks a 1-0 lead. A sacrifice fly by Nick Pratto plated Melendez and extended the Wilmington advantage to 2-0.

Lynchburg would answer back in the bottom of the sixth inning. Mike Rivera led off the inning with a double, just the second Hillcats hit to that point. A Luke Wakamtsu single put runners on the corners with one away, and Steven Kwan hit a sacrifice fly of his own to cut the deficit to 2-1.

In the top of the eighth, Pratto came up to the dish and crushed a fly ball over the right field fence for his second homer of the season, pushing the Wilmington lead to 3-1, which they would hold for good.

Juan Hillman (Loss, 3-6) gave up two earned runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings of work. Dakody Clemmer surrendered a run in two innings, and Hector Hernandez fired 1.1 scoreless frames.

Marcelo Martinez (Win, 4-2) gave up an earned run in six innings of work while punching out seven. Josh Mitchell and Tad Ratliff (Save, 14) tossed three scoreless innings of relief to close out the game.

The Hillcats are back at it on Saturday against the Blue Rocks. Taking the mound for Lynchburg will be left-hander Adam Scott (3-6, 3.33) while Wilmington will send out left-handed starter Rito Lugo (0-1, 2.33). First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.

Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 5:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.

Home stand highlights include Sparkling Saturday and Sandlot Sunday. Saturday's postgame fireworks show will be presented by Hometown Sales & Leasing Lynchburg & Madison Heights. On Sunday, kids will be able to run the bases post-game.

For tickets or more information, visit, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.

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