Quartet of Homers Leads Down East to Sweep of Lynchburg
Kinston, N.C. - The Lynchburg Hillcats dropped their season-high sixth consecutive ballgame on Friday night, falling to the Down East Wood Ducks, 7-5.
The Hillcats (11-12, 43-47) allowed a season-high four home runs to the Wood Ducks (14-8, 64-28), who win the season series 9-8.
Lynchburg grabbed an early lead in the first. Will Benson led off the frame with a single and moved to third on a double by Mitch Reeves. Later in the inning, Jonathan Laureano lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Benson for a 1-0 Hillcats lead.
The lead was short lived, as Down East plated two runs on one swing in the second. Curtis Terry led off with a walk, and Yanio Perez crushed a two-run home run, his first of two homers on the night, to give the Woodies a 2-1 advantage.
Down East widened the gap to 3-1 in the third when Sam Huff belted a solo home run.
Lynchburg trimmed the deficit to 3-2 in the sixth inning. Benson hit a solo blast to make it a one-run game.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Perez hit his second home run of the night, a solo shot, to stretch the Down East lead to 4-2.
The Rangers affiliate scored twice more in the seventh. Tyler Depreta-Johnson led off the frame with a double, and scored on an RBI double from Julio Pablo Martinez. Later in the inning with two out, Curtis Terry drove home Martinez with a single to push the lead to 6-2.
The Wood Ducks added another run of insurance in the eighth inning with their fourth home run of the night. Hasuan Viera hit a solo home run to right field for a 7-2 spread.
Lynchburg mounted a comeback attempt with three runs in the ninth. Jefferson Medina walked Oscar Gonzalez, Reeves and Jodd Carter to load the bases with one out. In came Joe Kuzia (Save, 12) out of the Down East bullpen, who allowed a two-run double to Laureano, and a sacrifice fly to Tyler Freeman to bring the Hillcats within two runs at 7-5. With the bases reloaded, Kuzia struck out Tyler Friis to end the game.
The Hillcats left 14 runners on base and went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position on the night. Lynchburg stranded the bases loaded in each of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
Justin Garza (Loss, 4-7) started for the Indians affiliate and worked six innings. He allowed four earned runs on four hits, walking two and striking out eight. Garza gave up a season-high three home runs. Dakody Clemmer surrendered three earned runs on four hits in two innings.
Reid Anderson (Win, 4-5) started for Down East and worked the first 5.2 innings. He gave up two earned runs on six hits, walking three and punching out three. Cole Uvila worked 1.1 scoreless, including stranding the bases loaded in both the sixth and seventh innings. Medina allowed three runs and walked five in 1.1 frames and Kuzia picked up the final two outs to nail down the Woodies' win.
The Hillcats will look to snap the six-game losing skid in the opener of a three-game series on Saturday against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, A-Adv. affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Left-hander Hector Hernandez (1-2, 4.28) will start for Lynchburg against righty Paul Richan (8-4, 4.06) for the Birds. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at TicketReturn.Com Field
Max Gun will be on the air at 5:55 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
The Hillcats will return to City Stadium on July 17 for a six-game home stand against Fayetteville and Frederick. Homestand highlights include Winning Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fantastic Friday, Sparkling Saturday, and Sandlot Sunday. Friday's post-game fireworks show will be presented by Pepsi while Saturday's will be presented by Kona Ice.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.
The Lynchburg Hillcats are the Advanced-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The Hillcats are eight-time Carolina League Champions, having most recently won the Mills Cup Championship in 2017. The Hillcats play their home games at City Stadium, which has been home to Minor League Baseball in Lynchburg since 1963. Visit the Hillcats online at Lynchburg-hillcats.com, and follow the Hillcats on Twitter (@LynHillcats), Instagram (@LynHillcats) and Facebook (Lynchburg Hillcats). For more information about the Lynchburg Hillcats, please contact Max Gun at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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