In the sixth inning, the Rocks jumped in front. Facing Lynchburg reliever Andrew Wilson, Brett Eibner led off the inning with a full-count walk. On a hit-and-run with Nick Van Stratten, a single pushed through the right side chased Eibner to third. Matt Fields sent a ball to deep center that was caught by Mycal Jones. The ball was deep enough, however, for Eibner to score from third base and gave the Rocks a 1-0 edge.
Wilmington denied every Lynchburg chance. With a man on second against Rocks starter Jason Adam in the first, Adam Milligan struck out swinging. Braeden Schlehuber and Mycal Jones stood on second and first respectively with one out in the second. Emerson Landoni bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to conclude the frame. Milligan was on second with two outs in the sixth. Adam fanned Michael Spina to halt the scoring chance.
Robinson Yambati came on in the seventh inning to close things out. With two outs, pinch-hitter Tommy LaStella reached on a single up the middle. A four-pitch walk was delivered to Dan Brewer to put the game-winning run on base. He then proceeded to strike out Nick Ahmed on three consecutive pitches to lock down his fourth save for the Wilmington win.
Adam went six scoreless innings, registering his sixth win of the season.
In Game Two, it was the Hillcats who jumped on top first. With one out, Ahmed roped a base-hit to right field off Wilmington starter Elisaul Pimentel. La Stella rolled one through the right side on a hit-and-run to push Ahmed to third. The first pitch Chris Garcia was deposited deep into the right center field cavern, scoring both runners to make it 2-0 in favor of the 'Cats.
Up 2-1, the Hillcats added a tally in the third. Ahmed reached base on a misplayed pop up by Orlando Calixte, making his way to second. After a pass ball, La Stella lofted a sacrifice fly to center field, which made it a 3-1 contest.
Michael Lee worked five innings of two-run ball for Lynchburg to pick up his third victory. He allowed seven hits and one walk while striking out three.
The Rocks return to Delaware for a seven-game homestand to end the regular season. It starts with a four-game set against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Monday night at 6:35 p.m. Wilmington will go with RHP Andy Ferugson (3-2, 3.51) against Myrtle Beach's RHP Randol Rojas (9-4, 3.05). Broadcast coverage begins at 6:05 p.m. as studio host Rob Cunningham brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
After a doubleheader split on Sunday, the Blue Rocks still hold a 0.5 game lead on the defending CL champion Keys. Wilmington, Frederick and Potomac are all separated by less than three games for the division's second-half playoff spot. The four-time Carolina League champion Blue Rocks are attempting to make their first playoff appearance since pacing the loop with 84 wins in 2009.
The two contests tailed the 12th and 13th one-run game played between the squads for the season. They are 7-6 in those circumstances. Game One was the fifth 1-0 game between the two teams as well. The Rocks hold a 2-3 mark in those tilts. The Blue Rocks have played a Carolina League best 49 one-run games, winning 24 of them.
Wilmington concludes its regular-season schedule with 3 of its last 7 games against its brothers from the North. The Rocks own a 33-24 (.579) mark in intradivisional competition.
The Blue Rocks magic number to clinch a playoff berth moves to seven with the Frederick Keys. Any combination of Blue Rocks wins and Keys losses totaling seven by regular-season's end will mean a playoff berth for Wilmington for the first time since 2009.
If the Blue Rocks stay on pace with their current winning percentage, they are slated to finish with 64 wins, the lowest single-season total since the 2005 Blue Rocks posted a 60-80 mark.
Brett Eibner's strikeout rate has made the Blue Rocks record books. The Rocks center fielder whiffed twice in Game One. His second one saw his season total rise to 160 strikeouts. That fanning made him the franchise's single season record holder, as he passed Donnie Ross (159 Ks, 2001).