Wilmington, DE- The Wilmington Blue Rocks (67-71/28-38) were swept in a doubleheader by the Lynchburg HIllcats (86-52/44-23) by the scores of 2-1 and 5-0 Sunday afternoon at Frawley Stadium. Jace Vines tossed a complete game in the first contest, but suffered a tough luck loss as Lynchburg homered in the top of the seventh inning while the Rocks were shutout in second game of the twin bill. With the loss, the Rocks have lost their last six straight games.
In game one, Wilmington took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Chris DeVito laced a two-strike RBI single to score Jecksson Flores from second base. However, Lynchburg tied the game in the top of the sixth inning when Willi Castro delivered a game-tying single for the Hillcats. In the top of the seventh, Anthony Miller launched a home run over the right field wall to put the Hillcats out in front 2-1 to stun the Rocks.
The second game, the Blue Rocks couldn't get anything going offensively. The Hillcats scored single tallies in the first two innings to put the Rocks behind 2-0. In the fourth, Lynchburg added another run on Sicnarf Loopstock's RBI sacrifice fly to make it a 3-0 game. The Hillcats sent eight men to the plate in the fifth inning and plated a pair of runs on an RBI walk from Mitch Longo and run-scoring single by Connor Marabell added to Lynchburg's advantage, 5-0 which would be the final score of the game.
The Blue Rocks will conclude their 2017 season with the Hillcats on Monday, September 4 with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. RHP Jared Ruxer (5-6, 3.56 ERA) takes the mound for Wilmington while LHP Sean Brady (2-1, 4.02 ERA) makes the start for the Hillcats. Fans can listen to the game as Matt Janus and Cory Nidoh will have the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
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For the majority of 2017, the Blue Rocks have been one of the better teams in the Carolina while playing at home in the friendly confines of Frawley Stadium. However, Wilmington's two losses on Sunday extended a season-high and set a new franchise record for the longest losing streak at Frawley Stadium to 10 games. games. Over that stretch, the Rocks have been outscored 51-12 by the visiting team and have lost six games by two runs or less. Before the 10-game skid at home, the Rocks won 11 of the previous 16 home contests at Frawley Stadium.
With the one-run loss in the first game of the doubleheader, the Rocks have now played in 48 one-run affairs this season, which is third-most in the Carolina League. Wilmington are now 25-23 in such contests. The Blue Crew opened the season just 4-13 in one-run games, then won 17 of their next 19, before dropping nine of its last 12 games decided by one tally. The Rocks led the league in one-run games from mid-April until the last week of August before Potomac and Salem each passed them. The shutout loss in game two marked the 11th time the Rocks have been held scoreless this year and the fifth time in the month of August. That watermark is just one shy of the total amount of games (6) Wilmington was held scoreless through the first four months of the year.
25 Years of Blue Rocks Baseball
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