Seventh Inning Rally Lifts Hillcats to Series Sweep of Wood Ducks
Kinston, N.C. - The Lynchburg Hillcats scored four unanswered runs on Thursday night to beat the Down East Wood Ducks, 4-3.
Lynchburg (13-8) came from behind in all three games against Down East (13-8) to complete its first sweep of the season.
Down 3-1 in the seventh, the Hillcats scored three runs and never looked back. Jonathan Laureano walked to lead off the inning, and with one out, Luke Wakamatsu singled to put two aboard. Steven Kwan followed by ripping an RBI double to the right-center gap, scoring Laureano to trim the deficit to 3-2. With Austen Wade batting, Demarcus Evans uncorked a wild pitch to allow Wakamatsu to score, tying the game at 3-3. Wade then connected on an RBI single past a drawn in infield, plating Kwan to give Lynchburg the 4-3 advantage.
The Wood Ducks threatened in the seventh and eighth innings, but both times Lynchburg's bullpen was able to strand the tying and go-ahead runs on base to keep the 4-3 lead in tact.
Lynchburg scored its first run in the third inning. Wilbis Santiago reached on an error and scored on an RBI double by Nolan Jones, which trimmed the deficit at the time to 3-1.
Down East plated all three runs on one swing of the bat in the first inning. After back-to-back walks to Yonny Hernandez and Julio Pablo Martinez, Leody Tavares crushed a three-run home run over the right field wall to give the Woodies a 3-0 lead.
The Hillcats have now won a season-high four consecutive games after sweeping Down East.
Justin Garza started for Lynchburg and allowed three earned runs on three hits in five innings. He walked four and struck out five. Jonathan Teany (Win, 1-0) fired 1.2 scoreless innings and Robert Broom recorded four outs while fanning three. Kyle Nelson (Save, 3) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to slam the door shut.
Lynchburg's bullpen has combined for 9.1 scoreless innings over the last two games.
A.J. Alexy started for the Wood Ducks and allowed an unearned run on two hits in five innings. Francisco Villegas (Loss, 0-1) allowed the three runs in the seventh.
The HIllcats will now head home for a three-game weekend series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Right-hander Nick Gallagher (1-0, 2.63) will start for Lynchburg, opposite of Blue Rocks lefty Daniel Tillo (2-1, 5.17). First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at City Stadium.
Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air beginning at 5:50 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.
The Aloha Weekend series at City Stadium will feature post-game fireworks shows on Friday and Saturday. Saturday's game is also Autism Awareness Night at City Stadium.
For tickets and more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, the City Stadium box office, or call 434-528-1144.
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