Lynchburg, Va. - With the game tied at 1-1 in the fourth inning, the Lynchburg Hillcats pitchers struggled to find the strike zone, walking five Buies Creek batters in the frame, as the visitors sent ten men to the plate, scoring four, en route to a 12-5 victory on Monday at City Stadium.
The scoring opened in the top of the third for the Astros when Chas McCormick lined a two-out double down the left field line to ignite a rally. Ronnie Dawson followed with a single to left, scoring McCormick from second base, to take a 1-0 lead.
The Hillcats answered in the home third, as Logan Ice led off the frame with a double down the right field line for his first hit of the season. Erlin Cerda then hit a sharp grounder to shortstop that made its way under the glove of Kistian Trompiz, who appeared to take his eye off the ball with Ice running to third. Ice would make it all the way around to score on the play to even the score at 1-1.
After retiring the first eight Astros batters, Hillcats starter Jake Paulson (Loss, 0-1) ran into some trouble in the fourth, giving up a walk and a single before being pulled from the game. Paulson would go 3.1 innings and allow three on three hits, striking out two.
Anderson Polonco struggled in relief for Lynchburg. He walked four batters and hit one, as four runs came across for the Astros with just one batter reaching on a hit in fourth inning. Polanco allowed two earned runs while recording just one out.
Buies Creek batted around in the fifth as well, this time against Billy Strode . Chuckie Robinson led off the inning a double, and Osvaldo Duarte followed with a double two batters later to score a pair of runs for the Astros. Later in the inning, Abraham Toro doubled to the right-center gap to bring home two more runners, as the visitors plated six in the frame.
The Hillcats held tough in the home fifth. Cerda and Conner Capel worked back-to-back walks to start off the inning, and with two away, Li-Jen Chu knocked in both runners with a double to the right-center gap for his first RBIs of the season.
After the Astros added a run on a sacrifice fly from Toro in the top of the seventh inning, the Hillcats were there to answer again in their half of the frame. Capel, who was on base four times in the game, walked with one out, and Luke Wakamatsu and Mitch Longo followed with a single and a walk to load the bases. With two outs, Gavin Collins came through, slapping a single through the hole on the right side to bring in two more runs for the Hillcats, who finished with a season-high five.
First baseman Anthony Miller got the ball for the Hillcats in the ninth, making his professional pitching debut. The right hander gave up an infield single, but retired the next three Astros hitters.
Brett Adcock (WIn, 1-0) picked up the win for Buies Creek in relief, working the final four innings of the game, and yielding just two hits and two runs, while striking out six. Starter Corbin Martin also fired four strong innings, giving up just one unearned run while striking out seven, but did not factor in the decision.
The two teams resume action Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. when the Hillcats send opening day left-handed starter Sam Hentges (0-0, 0.00) back to the mound to face off with right-hander Abdiel Saldana (0-0, 0.00) for the Astros.
It will be Two-Fur-Tuesday at City Stadium with $2 off on concession items.
Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air at 6:20 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 app.
For tickets and more information visit Lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or stop into the City Stadium box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.