FREDERICK, MD -The Lynchburg Hillcats (40-28) launched a franchise-record six home runs in a 12-5 rout of the Frederick Keys (30-38) on Saturday night at Nymeo Field. The Hillcats launched four home runs in the sixth inning, including back-to-back-to-back shots.
With the Hillcats leading 4-3 in the sixth, Keys reliever Mitch Horacek allowed the first two men to reach base with a walk and a base hit. That is when Lynchburg hit three home runs in a row. Ka'ai Tom hit a three-run blast, followed by solo homers from Sicnarf Loopstok and Martin Cervenka. Three batters later, Yonathan Mendoza hit his second home run in as many nights, bringing the total to four on the inning and capping off a six run sixth. It was the fourth time the Hillcats had hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in a game, and the first since June 1, 1997 when the completed the feat against the Keys. The Keys previously allowed three home runs in a row July 27 of last year at Winston-Salem.
The Hillcats got on the board in the second inning against Keys starter Brian Gonzalez thanks to the first of two Jodd Carter home runs. With two outs, Anthony Miller reached on an error, and Carter hit a ball off the left field foul pole to make the score 3-0. After Sam Haggerty singled, Tom brought him in with a double to left field.
Frederick answered in the bottom half of the frame. Shane Hoelscher singled, and Alex Murphy hit his second two-run home run of the series, cutting the deficit in half. The Keys would add another run in the bottom of the third thanks to an Ademar Rifaela solo home run, making it 4-3 Hillcats.
In the seventh, Lynchburg got another run on Carter's second home run of the game. It brought the Hillcats total to six on the night, four of them coming off of Horacek. Miller would tack on a run in the eighth with an RBI single, moving the advantage to 11-3.
The Keys hit two more home runs in the eighth. Austin Hays hit his 14th long ball of the year, and Rifaela brought his season total to double digits with his second big fly of the game to make the score 12-5. There were 10 combined home runs in the game to go along with 24 hits.
Gonzalez (2-5) took the loss for the Keys lasting just three innings and two batters, while allowing four unearned runs on six hits. Aaron Civale (3-1) picked up the win for the Hillcats, tossing seven innings while allowing three runs on six hits and striking out eight.
The Keys and Hillcats play their final game of the first half at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at Nymeo Field. Ofelky Peralta (0-5, 6.19) takes the mound for the Keys and will face right-hander Triston McKenzie (5-3, 2.45). The game can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App. For tickets, fans can call the Keys box office 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.