Hillcats' Gattis grabs five hits, six RBIs

Braves catching prospect leads Lynchburg to lopsided win

(Lynchburg Hillcats)

By John Parker and Andrew Pentis / Special to MLB.com | April 15, 2012 3:43 PM ET

After tearing up the South Atlantic League last year, Lynchburg catcher Evan Gattis is serving notice of his presence in the Carolina League in 2012.

The 25-year-old backstop collected five hits, including homer and a double, and six RBIs -- both career bests -- on Sunday afternoon as Class A Advanced Lynchburg ripped host Potomac, 13-2, to improve to a league-best 7-2.

The Hillcats' 20 hits, 10 extra-base hits and seven doubles were all highs in the young Carolina League season. Lynchburg has taken five of six games from the Nationals.

Gattis is a significant part of the good run. The right-handed hitter has hits in seven of his club's nine games. He is batting .469 (15-for-32) with six extra-base hits and 14 RBIs.

Gattis had collected four base knocks in one game three previous times in his three-year pro career. Most recently, the native of Forney, Texas, went 4-for-5 with a homer and a double in a Class A Rome 10-9 win over Asheville on Aug. 20, 2011.

He had driven in five runs just once in his career entering Sunday. In Rome's 8-7 victory over Delmarva on July 22, he went deep twice in four at-bats and plated five.

Atlanta's 23rd-round draftee in 2010 batted .322 overall in the Sally League last season. He also collected 22 homers and 71 RBIs in 88 games.

Batting cleanup, Gattis got his productive day started by doubling home Tommy La Stella in the first inning. He then plated La Stella on a two-run homer in the third, singled home Nick Ahmed in the fourth, singled home Matt Lipka in the fifth, grounded out in the seventh and singled once more in the ninth.

Five other Lynchburg batters recorded multi-hit games, including Edward Salcedo, David Rohm and Kyle Rose, who each recorded three hits. Salcedo, the Braves' No. 11 prospect, homered and doubled twice. He is batting .324 through his first nine games.

Hillcats starter Aaron Northcraft (2-0) gave up two runs on five hits over six innings. He struck out five on his way to victory.

Matthew Grace (1-1) was tagged with the loss, having allowed seven runs -- six earned -- on 11 hits over four frames.

John Parker is a contributor to MLB.com. Andrew Pentis contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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