Wilmington Blue Rocks

Rocks Get Pounded by Hillcats, Drop Series Finale 8-0

May 26, 2016 - Carolina League (CarL1)
Wilmington Blue Rocks News Release

Lynchburg, VA - The Wilmington Blue Rocks (14-31) stayed close to the Lynchburg Hillcats (31-16) through the first four innings, trailing by only a run, but the Hillcats plated five in the fifth to storm out ahead and never looked back while taking the series finale 8-0. Sean Brady, the starter for Lynchburg, pitched seven scoreless innings as the Rocks were shut out for the sixth time this season.

The Hillcats took a 1-0 lead on a second inning double by Sicnarf Loopstok and the game stayed quiet until the bottom of the fifth inning. Matt Tenuta, who started the game for the Blue Crew, finally relented to the powerful Hillcats offense in the fifth frame. Greg Allen plated two for the home squad with a double of his own before an Anthony Santander RBI single and a two-run blast by Bobby Bradley pushed the Hillcats advantage to 6-0.

The Rocks offense was unable to get going throughout the game and Lynchburg took advantage in the seventh. Yu-Cheng Chang came to the plate with the bases loaded and singled to center as the home team pushed the lead all the way to 8-0. Unfortunately for the Frawley faithful, there was no push from the Blue and White as they dropped the rubber match of the series by the 8-0 score.

With the series against the Hillcats done, the Rocks will head to Myrtle Beach to take on the Pelicans for a four game set. RHP Josh Staumont (0-4, 5.57) will be on the mound for the first game of the series and he will be opposed by a pitcher who has yet to be determined for the Pelicans. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 and those interested in listening to the game can tune in to WGLS-FM 89.7 or go to for all the game action.

Pebbles of Knowledge

Matt Tenuta turned in his second-shortest outing of the season on Thursday night, but actually did not pitch that badly. The left-hander allowed four runs on five hits in 4.1 frames, but was down in by rotten luck in the fifth. A hustle double, a bunt hunt that landed on the first-base line and a softly hit ground ball double led to a premature end to the southpaw's night. Before he departed, Tenuta struck out a career-high seven. His previous career high was sin punchouts when he pitched for Lexington. Tenuta also did not allow a home run after entering the night with the most homers yielded in the Carolina League and was facing the club with the most dingers.

Colin Rodgers took over for Tenuta and it was the first time Rodgers had pitched since heading to the Disabled List on May 16. Rodgers last pitched on May 11 against the Frederick Keys, but went just two innings before suffering an upper body injury. Rodgers was on the DL for ten days and it was the second time this season he has come on to pitch out of the pen. Rodgers was a little bit rusty, going two frames while giving up four hits and four runs while giving up a home run and walking three batters with just one strikeout.

Elier Hernandez and Wander Franco each recorded their second two-double game of the season. Franco last had two doubles at Frederick on April 20 while Hernandez accomplished the feat on May 15 versus Salem. With the pair of two-baggers, Hernandez pushed past Brandon Downes for the team lead in doubles with 12 on the season. He had just seven in 50 games with the Blue Crew last season while his 12 have come in 42 games during this year.

The Blue and White were shutout for the sixth time this season. They also fell to 3-24 when the opponent scores first and to 2-23 when scoring three runs or less in a game, meaning the Rocks have scored three or less in just a little more than half of their games (26 in 51). Wilmington went hitless with runners in scoring position (0-for-8) on Thursday and continue to struggle in those situations this season, batting just .243 with men at second and third in 2016.

They Said It

Blue Rocks Infielder Austin Bailey

"It was a frustrating night for us. When you stop and think about how many opportunities we had and we just couldn't come through. That (bases loaded nobody out) spot in the fourth but for sure, but that was far from the only chance we let get away."

"Last month we talked about how we needed to get guys in scoring position more often. Now we've started to do that, but what we aren't doing is executing in those spots. There's no excuse for that. As a team we've got to do a better job of taking advantage of our opportunities."

"You can't worry about where we're playing the games. This may have been our first time here, and maybe that's on the minds of some guys. But this game is too hard for me to be worried about that.

Whether it's third base or second base defensively or at the top or bottom of the lineup on offense, my job is to help this team. I feel like I can do different things to get that done and I feel very fortunate to be given that opportunity to try and get that done."

"We had some success against Myrtle last time so sure you try and pull from that and use it for confidence. But at the same time it's baseball. You know yesterday means nothing. It can all be different tomorrow. So we've got to go down to Myrtle Beach and execute. Do the little things and come up with the big hit if we want to have success again."

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