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Hillcats Win Nailbiter Over Red Sox 

Lynchburg Dodges Salem with Victory in Extras
(Gary Streiffer)
June 24, 2021

Salem, Virginia – Yainer Diaz added his twenty-sixth RBI of the year in the top of the tenth and the Lynchburg Hillcats (23-19) handed the Salem Red Sox (24-20) a 5-4 loss in game two of a six game series at Salem Memorial Ballpark. HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Hillcats

Salem, Virginia – Yainer Diaz added his twenty-sixth RBI of the year in the top of the tenth and the Lynchburg Hillcats (23-19) handed the Salem Red Sox (24-20) a 5-4 loss in game two of a six game series at Salem Memorial Ballpark.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Hillcats scored first in the top of the second when Ike Freeman raced home on a wild pitch thrown to the backstop by Salem starter Bradley Blalock.
  • Daniel Espino put together one of his best outings on the mound with the ‘Cats in 2021, tossing five innings of one hit baseball. The first-round draft pick fanned eight Salem batters, a season high.
  • Espino’s performance held the narrow 1-0 lead for the Hillcats into the sixth, but the Red Sox tied the game in the bottom of the frame with Lynchburg reliever Daritzon Feliz taking over. Salem knocked three singles, scoring Gilberto Jimenez on a fielder’s choice to tie the game at one apiece.
  • The Hillcats took back their lead right away when Andres Melendez smoked a triple to lead off the top of the seventh. Cody Farhat followed by ripping a double to right field that put the ‘Cats up one. Hosea Nelson made it three straight hits with a flare to right and a fielding error at short by Salem’s Matthew Lugo brought Farhat home. Now at third, Nelson scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Angel Martinez, giving the Hillcats a 4-1 cushion.
  • Salem tightened the game up in the bottom of the seventh against Feliz with two more runs tallying on a sac-fly and an error.
  • The Red Sox completed their comeback in the bottom of the eighth, drawing a pair of walks and a single to load the bases with nobody out. This prompted the Hillcats to make a pitching change, turning to reliever Liam Jenkins to get out of the jam. The Louisville product immediately walked in an inherited run, but fanned the next three batters he faced to escape the frame with a 4-4 tie.
  • After the Hillcats were shutout in the top of the ninth, Jenkins added two more strikeouts in the bottom of the frame to push the game into extra innings.
  • Angel Martinez started the top of the tenth at second as the extra baserunner for the Hillcats, moving to third thanks to a sacrifice bunt laid down by Gabriel Rodriguez. With the go-ahead run now at third, Yainer Diaz slapped a single up the middle to give Lynchburg a 5-4 lead.
  • Jaime Arias pitched a perfect bottom of the tenth, sending the Red Sox down in order and securing a ‘Cats victory that evened the series at one apiece.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

  • Alexfri Planez saw his nine game hitting streak come to a close Wednesday, while Cody Farhat has pushed his streak to six straight games
  • The Hillcats and the Red Sox are now tied for second place in the Northern Division.

WHO'S NEXT

The Hillcats are back in action Thursday in game three against the Red Sox from Haley Toyota Field. First pitch is set for 7:05pm.