Lynchburg, Va. - In the first game of the final series of the season for the Lynchburg Hillcats, the team's bullpen gave up a chunk of runs late to allow the Winston-Salem Dash to win, 5-1.
Lynchburg (29-36, 61-71) falls to 8-9 in the season series with Winston-Salem (32-33, 70-59) in the loss.
The Dash got out to a lead in the first inning. With two away, Craig Dedelow slugged a fly ball deep to left field. The ball banged off the wall and rolled away from left fielder Will Benson . Dedelow, with his speed, made it all the way around the bases on an inside-the-park home run to give the Dash a 1-0 lead.
Lynchburg finally got on the board in the sixth inning. Tyler Freeman ripped a leadoff single and was followed up by a double from Mitch Reeves to put two in scoring position with none away. Gavin Collins hit a fly ball to left field, a sacrifice fly that scored Freeman to tie the game at 1-1.
In the eighth inning, Juan Mota (Loss, 3-4) stumbled by walking Evan Skoug and allowing a single to Yeyson Yrizarri to begin the frame. After Mota was pulled for Randy Valladares , the left-hander surrendered a bunt single to Steele Walker to load the bases for Winston-Salem. A double by Johan Cruz cleared the bags to give Winston-Salem a 4-1 advantage.
In the ninth, Jameson Fisher kicked off the inning for Winston-Salem with a solo shot to push the lead to 5-1 Dash.
Mota was excellent in the start, tossing seven innings while allowing three earned runs on five hits, striking out a career-high nine batters. Valladares surrendered a run in an inning of work while Justin Garza was tagged with a run over an inning of work.
Taylor Varnell allowed a run in 5.2 innings while striking out five in the start for Winston-Salem. Wyatt Burns (Win, 3-1) tossed 1.1 scoreless innings while Andrew Perez and Luis Ledo worked a scoreless inning each.
The Hillcats will look to garner the win in the second game of the series on Saturday. Lynchburg will send left-hander Juan Hillman (5-12, 4.05) to the mound to square off against Zach Lewis (6-7, 5.73). First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Saturday's game will be a Sparkling Saturday with the final fireworks show of the season at City Stadium. Homestand highlights also include Sandlot Sunday and Fan Appreciation Night on Monday.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.