Potomac rallies to sweep Hillcats in extras, 8-4
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) - The Lynchburg Hillcats took a 4-1 lead into the eighth inning, but were unable to finish it off, falling, 8-4, to the Potomac Nationals in ten innings on Sunday afternoon at City Stadium.
Despite a strong start by Sam Hentges , the bullpen could not maintain the lead, as the Nationals (14-10) came from behind to win for the third straight game against the Hillcats (12-11), who were swept for the first time this season.
Luis Jimenez (Loss, 0-3) walked the first two batters he faced to load the bases in the tenth inning. Then a dropped popup, which resulted in a fielder's choice, brought home the go-ahead run for Potomac, giving the visitors their first lead of the ballgame.
With the bases full again, the Hillcats turned to Justin Garcia , who yielded a two run double to Telmito Agustin, as the deficit stretched to 7-4. Garcia would walk home a run later in the frame to push the Nats lead to four runs.
Jimenez suffered his second loss to the P-Nats in extra innings this season, giving up four runs, three earned, in just one-third of an inning.
For the third time in as many nights, the Hillcats got on the board first. Gavin Collins doubled down the left field line to begin the third, and after a single from Emmanuel Tapia , he was brought home on a fielder's choice groundout from Jodd Carter to make it 1-0.
Lynchburg would build on their lead an inning later. Anthony Miller reached on an infield single to begin the inning, and Erlin Cerda followed with a double to deep left, as Miller came all the way around from first to score to make it 2-0. Later in the frame, Conner Capel laced a single back up the middle to plate Cerda, and put the Hillcats ahead 3-0.
Potomac would answer with a run in the fifth. Ian Sagdol bounced a single through the right side, and Jakson Reetz followed with a double to right-center, as Sagdol came all the way around from first to score. With two outs, Agustin singled to left, but Capel gunned down Reetz trying to score to end the frame. It was the second time in the game that the Hillcats cut down a run at the plate, as Jose Medina also recorded an outfield assist on a double play to end the second.
Lynchburg would strike one more time in the sixth. With one out, Cerda belted his second double of the game to right-center field, and two batters later, Capel slapped a two-strike pitch the opposite way to left to make it 4-1 Lynchburg.
The lead would evaporate in the seventh. With one on and one out, Rougie Odor lifted Ben Krauth in favor of Kieran Lovegrove, who struggled to get ahead of hitters and gave up a two-run double to Sagdol, cutting the lead to 4-3. One batter later, Reetz blooped a single to shallow right-center to tie the game at 4-4.
Hentges went 5.2 innings and allowed just one run on six hits,. He walked one and struck out five, but did not factor in the decision.
James Bourque (Win, 2-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the P-Nats and struck out five. Potomac starter Tyler Mapes allowed three earned runs on eight hits in four innings.
Lynchburg will have Monday off, before hitting the road on Tuesday to face the Winston-Salem Dash at 7 p.m. Right hander Zach Plesac (1-1, 4.74) will get the ball for the Hillcats, opposed by Dash righty Dylan Cease (2-1, 2.79)