Bullpen hangs on for one-run win against Keys

Lynchburg salvages the series finale to avoid the sweep

Hillcats reliever Kieran Lovegrove (Lindsay Carico/Lynchburg Hillcats)

By Max Gun / Lynchburg Hillcats | May 9, 2018 4:10 PM

Frederick, Md. - After recording just one hit on Tuesday, the Lynchburg Hillcats tallied a season-high 14 hits in a 4-3 win against the Frederick Keys on Wednesday.

The Hillcats (15-17) improve to 5-2 in one-run games this season with their win against the Keys (14-19).

Frederick had runners at first and second base with one out in the ninth. James Karinchak (Save, 1) battled to get out of the jam by striking out Preston Palmeiro and getting Randolph Gassaway to hit into a force out to end the game.

For the first time in the series, Lynchburg scored first with a pair of runs in the second inning. Trenton Brooks Anthony Miller  and Erlin Cerda all singled to load the bases with one out. Keys starter Ofelky Peralta then issued back-to-back bases-load walks to Mitch Longo and Luke Wakamatsu to plate two runs. Peralta had a stretch where he threw 11 consecutive balls in the second inning.

The Keys got a run back against Lynchburg starter Micah Miniard  in the home half of the second. Frederick loaded the bases with nobody out, and Miniard got Alejandro Juvier to roll into a double play that plated a run, making it a 2-1 game.

The Hillcats added to their lead in the third. Li-Jen Chu led off the frame with a double and came around to score on a Brooks RBI single. Later in the inning, Miller ripped an RBI single to score Brooks, pushing Lynchburg's lead to 4-1.

Frederick scored a pair of runs to tighten the game in the fourth. Wilson Garcia doubled with one out, and came around to score after Miniard uncorked two wild pitches in the inning. Chris Clare hit an RBI double later in the frame to cut the deficit to 4-3, but the Hillcats bullpen held the lead in tact the rest of the way.

Five Hillcats hitters finished with multi-hit games, and all but one starter recorded a hit.

Lynchburg's 'pen combined for five scoreless innings on Wednesday. Kieran Lovegrove  (Win, 3-0) pitched three scoreless innings and struck out five in relief of Miniard. Anderson Polanco recorded two outs in the eighth and Karinchak picked up the four-out save to solidify the win.

Miniard went four innings and allowed three earned runs on seven hits.

Peralta was chased after two innings. The right-hander surrendered four runs (three earned) on six hits. He walked two and struck out one. Lucas Humpal logged 4.1 scoreless innings in relief and Branden Kline pitched 2.2 scoreless frames for the Keys.

Lynchburg's road trip continues on Thursday, when the Hillcats will take on the Salem Red Sox in the opener of a four-game series. Left-hander Sam Hentges  (2-1, 2.45) will make the start for the Hillcats, opposite of righty Bryan Mata (1-1, 1.42) for Salem. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air at 6:55 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.

For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144. or stop by the City Stadium box office.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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