Blue Rocks Rally Falls Short in Season Finale

Wilmington Strands Tying and Game-Winning Runs on Base

Brandon Downes ripped a two-run single in the eighth inning in a game the Rocks ultimately dropped 4-3 to end the 2017 season. (Brad Glazier)

By Wilmington Blue Rocks | September 4, 2017 4:02 PM ET

Wilmington, DE- The Wilmington Blue Rocks (67-72/28-41) cut a four-run deficit to a single score and placed runners at second and third base in the bottom of the ninth inning, but could not complete the rally in a season-ending 4-3 loss to the Lynchburg Hillcats (87-52/47-23) on Sunday at Frawley Stadium. The loss was Wilmington's seventh straight and the club finished the campaign with a franchise-record 11-game home losing streak.


The Blue Rocks started their comeback bid by manufacturing a two-out run in the seventh. John Brontsema singled to left field before Jonathan McCray ripped the first pitch he saw for a pinch-hit double that made it a 4-1 contest. Wilmington continued its rally in the eighth. Nick Heath reached on a single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Hillcats' third baseman Gavin Collins. Jecksson Flores followed with a single down the right-field line and stole second base to put two runners in scoring position. Brandon Downes followed with a two-run single to left-center that pulled the Rocks within a run, 4-3.


The Hillcats struck first in the top of the third inning when Jodd Carter tripled to deep center and scored on the play on a Brandon Downes throwing error. Lynchburg added a pair of runs in the fifth inning on Carter's two-out, two-run single to make it a 3-0 hole for Wilmington. Claudio Bautista hit a leadoff homer to start the sixth inning to register what was ultimately the game-winning run.


Jared Ruxer suffered the tough-luck loss despite working six innings and yielding just one earned run (four total.) Sean Brady got the win thanks to seven one-run innings.


The Blue Rocks would like to thank their fans for an outstanding 2017 season. Please stay tuned to for upcoming information regarding the 2018 campaign.


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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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