Wilmington, DE- For the second straight game, the Wilmington Blue Rocks (34-42/3-3) saw the Lynchburg Hillcats (34-40/5-2) put together a big inning to pull away as the Rocks fell by the score of 5-1 Wednesday at Frawley Stadium. Blue Rocks' starter Ofreidy Gomez cruised through his first five innings before the Hillcats figured him out in the sixth. Wilmington had plenty of offensive chances as they left a runner stranded in scoring position in each of the first four innings.
Wilmington again struck for a first inning run when Travis Jones blooped a run-scoring single to centerfield to plate Blake Perkins who led the inning off with an infield single. That would be all the Rocks would be able to push across against Lynchburg's starter Eli Morgan who worked out of constant traffic on the bases. The Blue Crew pushed a runner to third in the second inning, had runners at second and third in the third frame, and put another runner at third in the bottom of the fourth but were unable to crack Morgan.
Gomez was cruising through his first five innings of work. He allowed just four base runners through that span with his only blemish being a game-tying home run off the bat of Lynchburg's Conner Capel. However in the sixth inning, Gomez ran into some trouble. Mitch Longo ripped an RBI triple to put Lynchburg out in front, 2-1. Capel followed with a sacrifice fly to score Longo to make it a 3-1 deficit for Wilmington. A batter later, Li-Jen Chu doubled before Jodd Carter homered to break the game open, 5-1.
The fourth game of the of the five-game series between the two Northern Division foes will be played on Thursday, June 28 at Frawley Stadium with first pitch at 6:35 p.m. The Blue Rocks will send right-hander Gerson Garabito (2-6, 4.30 ERA) on the mound while Lynchburg will send righty Zac Plesac (4-3, 5.01 ERA). Fans can tune into the game with Matt Janus and Cory Nidoh on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
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The Wilmington Blue Rocks have struggled in the sixth inning against the Hillcats through the first three games of the series. With the four runs scored in the top of the sixth inning on Wednesday, it marked the third straight game where the Rocks have lost the lead in the sixth inning against the Hillcats. The Blue Rocks let Lynchburg tie the opening game of the homestand on Monday night and then lost the 1-0 lead in the same frame on Tuesday night. The Rocks have been outscored by opponents in the sixth inning by a 37-28 margin all season.
The Blue Rocks continued their running ways on Wednesday night. With three more stolen bases, the Rocks total extends to 91 on the year. That puts Wilmington first in the Northern Division and second in the entire Carolina League. In 2017, the Rocksstole 111 bases throughout the entire season. Currently, Nick Heath and D.J. Burt are second and third in the Carolina League in stolen bases. Heath also leads the team with his 21 swiped bags while Burt has 18.
Rudy Martin has been solid in his first series back with the Blue Rocks. Martin is 2-for-6 with a single and a double on the current homestand. Despite the near two-month absence, Martin has been able to keep his hitting streak alive. His streak which started back on April 24, has now reached nine games thanks to a fourth inning double. Martin is only two games shy of tying the season-high 11 game hitting streak set by Kort Peterson in the first two weeks of June.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.