Winston-Salem, N.C. - The Lynchburg Hillcats lost on a walk-off for the first time in 2019, falling 9-8 to the Winston Salem Dash on Wednesday.
Lynchburg (16-16) had a 7-1 lead after the fourth inning, but the Dash (17-14) stormed from behind in front of 7,365 fans on Education Day.
Tied 8-8 entering the bottom of the ninth, Brennan Bernardino (Loss, 0-1) took over on the mound for the Hillcats. Steele Walker and Jameson Fisher worked back-to-back walks to put the first two hitters aboard. Zach Remillard tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but struck out bunting with two strikes to put one away. Craig Dedelow was next, and he hit a ball off the right field fence, but Jodd Carter and Wilbis Santiago formed a perfect relay throw to the plate to gun down Walker for the second out, keeping the game alive. After Tate Blackman walked to load the bases, Carlos Perez hit a walk-off RBI single to win the game for Winston-Salem.
In the top of the ninth, still tied at 8-8, the Hillcats threatened with runners at second and third base with one out. Santiago hit a bullet to Remillard at shortstop with the infield playing in that was caught on a line, and Remillard doubled off Nolan Jones at third base to end the inning and keep the game tied.
Lynchburg struck first with three runs in the first inning. Austen Wade and Carter hit back-to-back singles to start things off. Next up was Jones, who drove a ball to the left-center gap for a two-run triple, giving Lynchburg an early 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Trenton Brooks ripped an RBI single to score Jones for a 3-0 advantage.
The Dash came back with a run in the bottom of the first. Tyler Frost led off with a walk and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Later in the frame, Jameson Fisher hit an RBI single, scoring Frost to cut the deficit to 3-1.
The Hillcats tallied another three-run inning in the second. Jason Rodriguez led off with a single, and Luke Wakamatsu then blasted a two-run home run, his second of the season, over the left field fence. Carter walked, stole second base, and scored on an RBI double for Jones to widen the gap to 6-1.
The lead for the Hillcats became 7-1 in the third inning. Jose Vicente doubled with one out, and touched home when Rodriguez grooved a double right behind him.
Winston-Salem got back into the game with a four-run third inning. Nick Madrigal led off with a double, and moved to third on a single from Walker. Fisher stepped in and reached on an RBI single to plate Madrigal. The next hitter, Remillard, clobbered a two-run triple, allowing both Walker and Fisher to score. Remillard would score on a wild pitch, bringing the Dash within 7-5.
The seesaw game continued in the top of the fourth. Jones walked with one out, stole second base, and scored to put Lynchburg in front, 8-5, when Oscar Gonzalez lined an RBI single into center field.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Dash tied the game with a three-run frame. Yeyson Yrizarri led off with a single, and moved to third base on consecutive wild pitches. Frost hit an RBI single to score him, bringing Winston-Salem within two runs at 8-6. Later on in the inning, Walker singled, setting up Fisher, who blasted a game-tying two-run homer to knot the game at 8-8.
Nick Gallagher started for Lynchburg and allowed five earned runs on six hits in 2.2 innings. Anderson Polanco gave up two runs over an inning of work, and Yapson Gomez allowed the game-tying homer to Fisher in the fourth inning. Anthony Gose worked two scoreless frames before Bernardino walked three and allowed two hits in the loss.
Zach Lewis got the start for the Dash, and the right-hander worked just three innings. He allowed seven earned runs on nine hits. Kevin Escorcia gave up a run in 2.2 innings of work, while Wyatt Burns allowed and Jose Nin combined for 3.1 scoreless frames.
Over the last two games, the Hillcats have registered 27 hits. Jones reached base five times on Wednesday with two walks and three hits, including three RBI and his first triple of the season. Rodriguez also collected three hits in his Hillcats debut.
Lynchburg and Winston-Salem will conclude their series on Thursday in the rubber match of the three-game set. Left-hander Adam Scott (2-3, 3.60) will start for the Hillcats against Dash southpaw Cristain Castillo (0-4, 6.08). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at BB&T ballpark.
Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 6:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
The Hillcats return home on Friday, May 10 to begin a season-long ten game home stand. Highlights include Aloha Weekend with post-game fireworks shows on Friday and Saturday, Kids Eat Free Tuesday, Winning Wednesday, and Thirsty Thursday. Additionally, Hillcats vs. Cancer is on May 17, Pirates vs. Royalty Night is on May 18 and Cats Cares is on May 25, where all fans can enter the game for free but are asked to give a donation at the box office of their choice to a pre-selected charity.
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.