FREDERICK, MD-The Lynchburg Hillcats (39-28) kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-1 victory over the Frederick Keys (30-37) on Friday night at Nymeo Field. Lynchburg used a pair of fifth inning home runs to help snap a three-game losing streak while the loss moves the Keys back to seven games below .500 for the second time this year.
The game was scoreless heading into the fifth inning, but that is when the Hillcats got on the board. Willi Castro hit a solo home run to lead off the inning against Keys starter Reid Love . After a strikeout of Daniel Salters, Yonathan Mendoza added a solo blast of his own, making it a 2-0 game.
Lynchburg would add another run in the top of the sixth. Sam Haggerty hit a leadoff double to left field. Two batters later, Zeke McGranahan gave up an RBI single to Sicnarf Loopstok that pushed the Hillcats lead to 3-0.
The Keys would get a run back in the bottom of the sixth. Ricardo Andujar hit a single to center field, and advanced to third on a single by Drew Turbin . With runners at the corners, Ademar Rifaela hit a long sacrifice fly to move the Keys within two.
A pair of errors and two base hits helped the Hillcats increase their lead in the ninth against Alex Katz . An error by Shane Hoelscher allowed Martin Cervenka to reach base, and Cervenka advanced on a Daniel Salters single and an error by Rifaela. Mendoza then grounded out to Turbin, pushing in a run. The scoring ended on an Anthony Miller double to left-center, making it 5-1.
Shane Bieber (2-1) produced a quality start and earned the win, tossing six innings of five-hit baseball while allowing one run. Love (1-2) took the loss, lasting 5.1 innings and surrendering three runs on five hits while striking out four.
Frederick and Lynchburg continue their series on Saturday night. Brian Gonzalez (2-4, 5.98) takes the mound for the orange and black and will be opposed by right-hander Aaron Civale (2-1, 1.96) for the Hillcats. It is "Hometown Saturday Night," as the game can be heard on Max Country 93.5/100.5 FM, frederickkeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App.
Saturday night is Seinfeld night at the ballpark. John O'Hurley, who is best known as playing J. Peterman on the hit show, will be at the ballpark. 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.