Zebulon, N.C. - The Lynchburg Hillcats took three of four games in their series against the Carolina Mudcats, beating the Milwaukee Brewers affiliate, 7-5, in the finale on Monday.
The Hillcats (44-48, 15-10) went 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position in the win against Carolina (47-47, 13-11).
Down 5-4 in the eighth inning, Mitch Longo doubled to get into scoring position, and Jodd Carter followed with a walk. Gavin Collins then ripped an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Longo to tie the game at 6-6. On the same play, Mudcats second baseman Nick Roscetti dropped the relay throw, allowing Carter to score to give Lynchburg a 6-5 lead. Li-Jen Chu widened the gap with an RBI double, plating Carter to give the Hillcats some insurance at 7-5.
The Hillcats plated the first run of the game in the first inning. Carter worked a two-out walk, and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Collins followed by blooping an RBI single to center field, scoring Carter to give Lynchburg a 1-0 lead.
The Mudcats evened the score in the second inning. Nathan Rodriguez was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and a walk and an error loaded the bases. Rodriguez came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Yoantgel Segovia to tie the game.
Carolina took a 3-1 lead in the third inning when Weston Wilson blasted a two-run home run, his 11th of the season.
The back-and-fourth battle continued in the fifth inning, when Lynchburg plated two runs. Chu and Jorma Rodriguez hit back-to-back singles to start the inning, and both advanced to second and third base, respectively, on a wild pitch. Emmanuel Tapia hit an RBI groundout to score Chu, and Dillon Persinger ripped an RBI single past a drawn in infield to bring home Tapia, tying the game at 3-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Mudcats loaded the bases with nobody out. Devin Hairston hit into a double play, but Ryan Aguilar came in to score, pushing Carolina in front again, 4-3.
Chu tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the seventh inning when he connected with a solo home run to right field, his seventh of the year, and fifth in the second half of play. The Hillcats through 25 games of the second half have equaled their first half home run total at 25.
Sam Hentges started for Lynchburg, and logged four innings while allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits, striking out six. Matt Esparza made his 2018 debut and allowed a run in two innings, walking four. Leandro Linares (Win, 2-0) pitched 1.2 scoreless frames and Dalbert Siri (Save, 6) allowed a single in the ninth but slammed the door to finish off the win.
Devin Williams made the start for Carolina, going just 2.2 innings and giving up one run. Nathan Kirby surrendered three runs on six hits in four innings of relief, and Alec Kenilvort (Loss, 2-3) gave up the three runs in the eighth.
After an off day on Tuesday, the Hillcats return to action on Wednesday against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Left-hander Tanner Tully (3-9, 4.72) will start for Lynchburg, while Wilmington will counter with lefty Daniel Tillo (2-1, 3.86). First pitch from City Stadium is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air at 6:20 p.m. with the Hillcats pregame show, on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.
The Hillcats return home on Wednesday, July 18, for six games. Home stand highlights include Winning Wednesday where fans will receive a ticket to the next Wednesday home game, Thirsty Thursday, featuring $2 Miller Lite and Yuengling drafts, You're Killing Me Smalls Night on July 20, consisting of an Evan Gattis bobblehead giveaway to the first 1,000 fans, and a used car giveaway on July 21, in addition to postgame fireworks.
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.