Kinston, N.C. - The Lynchburg Hillcats let a 3-0 lead slip away on Tuesday night, and lost to the Down East Wood Ducks, 5-4.
The Hillcats (46-53, 17-15) left eight runners on base in the series-opening defeat to Down East (46-57, 11-22).\
Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Micah Miniard (Loss, 2-4) hit Josh Altmann with a pitch to lead off the inning. Altmann stole second, and advanced to third on a single by Andretty Cordero. The next hitter, Melvin Novoa, hit into a fielder's choice force out at second base, but Altmann came in to score to plate the winning run.
Lynchburg started the scoring with a run in the first. Dillon Persinger led off the game with a single, and later scored on an RBI single from Conner Capel.
The Hillcats stretched their lead to 3-0 in the fourth. Capel and Jodd Carter hit back-to-back single to start the frame, and Emmanuel Tapia delivered a two-run double to score them.
Down East got on the board in the fifth inning, when Leody Tavaras blasted a solo home run, his fourth of the season and first since May 20.
The next inning, Altmann clubbed a two-run homer off of Eli Morgan, his team-leading 18th of the year, that tied the game at 3-3.
The Wood Ducks grabbed a 4-3 lead in the seventh. Eric Jenkins walked with one out, and stole both second and third base. After an intentional walk to LeDarious Clark, Anderson Tejeda singled through the left side to score Jenkins.
Lynchburg tied the game at 4-4 in the eighth on a Carter RBI double. Later in the inning, the Hillcats had runners at first and third with one out, but Locke St. John (Win, 4-2) struck out both Jorma Rodriguez and Alexis Pantoja to end the threat.
Morgan fired six innings, and allowed three earned runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out two. R.C. Orlan surrendered a run in the seventh, and Miniard gave up the winning run in the eighth.
Walker Weickel started for Down East, and went seven innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits, striking out seven. Blake Bass allowed a run on two hits in 0.2 innings, and St. John fired 1.2 innings and struck out two.
The series continues on Wednesday afternoon with the second game of the three-game series. Right-hander Zach Plesac (6-4, 4.50) will start for Lynchburg, and will countered by lefty Joe Palumbo (0-2, 4.50) of Down East. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. at Grainger Stadium.
Max Gun will be on the air beginning at 11:55 a.m. on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.
For tickets and more information visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, the City Stadium box office, or call 434-528-1144.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.