LYNCHBURG, VA-Emmanuel Tapia hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning to lead the Lynchburg Hillcats to a 6-4 win over the Frederick Keys on Sunday night at City Stadium. The setback moves the Keys 11 games behind the first-place Hillcats with 14 games left.
Lynchburg (63-59, 34-21) tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a double by Dillon Persinger, a groundout and an RBI single by Nolan Jones before taking the lead for good in the seventh. Jorma Rodriguez reached against Steven Klimek to open the inning before Tapia came to bat two hitters later. Going to a 3-1 count against the Keys right-hander, the Hillcats first baseman homered to right-center to put Lynchburg up a pair.
The Hillcats bullpen shut things down from there, as the trio of Kyle Nelson, Jared Robinson and Nick Sandlin combined to strike out six and not allow a hit over the final three frames. Overall, the two pitching staffs combined on 24 strikeouts for the game.
Trailing 3-1 going into the sixth, the Keys (58-66, 23-32) scored three to go back ahead. Singles by Wilson Garcia and Jomar Reyes set the table for T.J. Nichting who hit an RBI double to right. With men at second and third, Chris Clare then dunked a single into right field to put the visitors ahead temporarily.
Frederick opened the scoring in the third, as Alejandro Juvier scored on a groundout by Cole Billingsley . The Hillcats then plated the next three before the Keys three-run frame. Two scored on a double by Jose Medina and a pair of wild pitches by Matthias Dietz , while four walks brought home one more in the fourth for the Hillcats.
Nelson (1-0) earned the win for Lynchburg tossing 1.2 scoreless frames to go with four strikeouts. Klimek (4-3) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on four hits in one inning. Sandlin worked a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.
Following a Monday off-day, the Keys continue their roadtrip in Salem on Tuesday night. The Keys will face right-hander Jake Thompson (5-11, 4.95). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m from Haley Toyota Field and the broadcast can be heard on frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn App starting at 6:45 p.m.
The Keys return to Nymeo Field from Friday, August 24-Sunday, August 26 when the Carolina Mudcats come to town. Homestand highlights include Alzheimer's Awareness Night, Scout Night presented by Wegman's, Game of Thrones Night and Prince and Princess Day to go with two fireworks shows. For tickets, fans can call the Keys at 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.