Wilmington, DE -It was a battle of the pitchers Friday night as the Wilmington Blue Rocks (3-6) lost to the Lynchburg Hillcats (4-5) by the score of 3-2 at Frawley Stadium. Right-hander Gerson Garabito suffered the loss despite allowing just two earned runs in six innings of work. Lynchburg's starter Tanner Tully was even better and tossed seven innings of one-run baseball and struck out seven. Khalil Lee hit his second home run of the season and paced the Blue Rocks' offense with three hits.
After allowing a ninth inning run on an RBI double from Gavin Collins to make it a 3-1 deficit for Wilmington, the Rocks attempted a comeback in their last at-bats. Lee smashed a first-pitch solo home run over the right field wall to pull Wilmington within a run. Two batters later, Chris DeVito who had two hits in the game, just missed hitting a game-tying solo home run to left field, flying out to the warning track for the second out before a strikeout ended the game for Wilmington.
Lynchburg took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning against Garabito. Gavin Collins drove in the game's first run on an RBI groundout before Jodd Carter dropped a bunt single to drive in Conner Capel from third base. Wilmington got a run back thanks to a fielding and throwing error by Lynchburg's shortstop Luke Wakamatsu to make it a 2-1 game.
The Blue Rocks host the Hillcats on Thursday, April 14 at Frawley Stadium. Righty Arnaldo Hernandez (0-0, 1.59 ERA) makes the start for Wilmington while right-hander Justin Garza (1-0, 0.00 ERA) makes the start for Lynchburg. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. and fans can listen to the game as Matt Janus and Cory Nidoh will have the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
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After having his six-game hitting streak snapped Thursday night, Khalil Lee quickly bounced back with a three-hit performance Friday night. He reached on an infield single in his first at-bat, laced another base hit to centerfield before launching his second homer of the season over the right field wall. The 19-year-old prospect is hitting .393 through his first eight games as a Blue Rock. In total, he has 11 hits including two doubles, a triple and pair of home runs.
The one-run loss for Wilmington marked just the third one-run game the Blue Rocks have played this season. With the loss, they drop to 1-2 on the young season in such games. Last season, the Blue Crew paced the Carolina League playing in 50 one-run contests and went 25-25 in those games.
Lee and Chris DeVito each collected multiple hits in Friday's loss. It was Lee's first three-hit game of the season and also first by a Blue Rock this year. DeVito recorded his second multi-hit game with a pair of singles in the loss and is tied with Lee for having the most multi-hit games on the team with two apiece.
THEY SAID IT, MANAGER DARRYL KENNEDY:
(Thoughts on game): "Our pitching did a great job (Friday). We had a couple mishaps here and there. (Gerson) Garabito had just one bad inning. He left some pitches up and they made him pay for it. You have to give their pitcher (Tanner Tully) some credit. He attacked us all night long and you just have to tip your cap."
(On team rallying in last inning): "Their new pitcher came in and we knew he throws hard. Khalil (Lee) did a nice job to get us within one with the home run. (Chris) DeVito put a good swing on that pitch and it just came up a little short. To go opposite field here at Frawley Stadium, it's a tough feat. They fought and they gave it all they had to the final out and that's all I ask."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.