Hillcats Drop Thriller in 12 Innings, 5-4

Hillcats squander scoring opportunities late

By Lynchburg Hillcats | September 4, 2016 6:37 PM

Lynchburg lost a heartbreaker against Salem in 12 innings at City Stadium, 5-4. The 'Cats and Red Sox were knotted from the eighth inning until Jose Sermo singled in the eventually winning run in Luis Basabe. The Hillcats set a new season-high with 19 strikeouts in the extra inning affair. 

Salem did not wait around to score as Nick Longhi hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Luis Basabe. Lynchburg scored its first two runs in the game in the third stanza to take the lead. Taylor Murphy began the frame with a single and came around to score on a Claudio Bautista double. Later in the inning, Anthony Santander singled to bring home Bautista and make the count, 2-1. The Red Sox tied the game in the fifth and took the lead with two more runs in the top half of the eighth.

The 'Cats answered with two runs to tie the game at 4-all. Santander and Bradley walked to put two runners on base for Dorssys Paulino. Paulino came through with a two RBI double down the left field line. The Hillcats threatened to walk it off in the ninth but two runners were stranded after a leadoff walk and a bunt single by Yonathan Mendoza. Sicnarf Loopstok leadoff the 11th with a double but he was stranded as well.

The Red Sox tallied the eventually winning run in the 12th and infielder Jordan Betts closed out the contest to earn the save.

The Hillcats used five pitchers in the extra inning contest. Brock Hartson started the game on the bump and was solid for Lynchburg. The righty pitched six innings while striking out seven and only allowing two runs. Trevor Frank made an earlier than normal relief appearance in a scoreless seventh frame. Jared Robinson made an extended relief appearance as he went three innings. Mitch Brown struck out two batters in a perfect 11th stanza. Matt Whitehouse ended up with the loss after allowing the winning run in the 12th. Simon Mercedes recorded his fifth win of the season in a three inning relief outing.

The Hillcats set a season-high with 19 strikeouts in this afternoon's contest…The previous high was 17 set on June 28 at Wilmington…In extra innings the 'Cats are now 6-8…The last extra inning win came June 3 at Wilmington when they won 16-11 in 10 innings…Lynchburg has lost its last four extra inning contest.

Lynchburg wraps up the regular season against Salem Monday at 2:00 p.m. Thomas Pannone (2-0, 1.96) will be on the mound for the Hillcats. Fans can listen to the action on 93.3 FM and 1320 AM as well as www.lynchburg-hillcats.com, beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show at 1:45 p.m.

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

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