Lynchburg beats Wilmington, advances to championship

One thing was consistent with the Lynchburg Hillcats in this best of five series with the Wilmington Blue Rocks: good pitching.

That started last Wednesday as Justin Wilson pitched five innings, allowing four runs, but only one earned. The Hillcats allowed seven runs in the first game, with most of those due to errors. They allowed seven more runs the rest of the series, winning three of the next four games.

On Thursday it was Rudy Owens, Matt McSwain, Ramon Aguero, and Ronald Uviedo combining for a shutout.

On Friday it was Jeff Locke, Noah Krol, and Ramon Aguero pitching 11 shutout innings, before Wilmington won in the bottom of the 12th.

On Saturday it was Nathan Adcock pitching five innings and allowing two runs, with Matt McSwain closing out the game with four shutout innings.

Tonight it was Bryan Morris. Morris had one of his best starts of the season, pitching 6.2 innings, and allowing one run on seven hits, with one walk and one strikeout. Morris looked great, very efficient, and with good control. He got a lot of quick and easy outs via ground balls, and didn’t get in to many jams. I’ll have the video recap up tomorrow on the site, which includes every pitch he threw.

Chase d’Arnaud and Josh Harrison provided most of the offense tonight. After a double by Eric Huber, d’Arnaud came up with two outs and hit a single up the middle to bring Huber in, tying the score at 1-1. With Harrison at the plate, d’Arnaud stole second, and scored on a single up the middle by Harrison, giving the Hillcats the lead.

That wasn’t all for Harrison. With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th, and Lynchburg still leading 2-1, Harrison lined a double down the line, bringing in three more runs, with d’Arnaud scoring from first, and Harrison ending up at third on the throw to the plate. Here is the video of that at-bat (the good stuff is at the 0:41 mark):

Noah Krol came on to pitch an inning, but got in to a jam with two outs in the eighth, one on, and Eric Hosmer at the plate with a three run lead. Ronald Uviedo came on for the four out save, and got Hosmer to fly out to right field. Uviedo pitched a perfect ninth inning, with two strikeouts, to seal the deal and clinch the series.

Lynchburg starts the Carolina League Championship Series tomorrow against the Salem Red Sox. The first two games of the best of five series will be in Lynchburg, followed by three games on the road in Salem. I assume the rotation will be the same as this series, with Justin Wilson pitching game one, and Rudy Owens pitching game two. I’ll be at both home games, and since Lynchburg and Salem are both the same distance from my house, I might consider going to a game in Salem as well.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • SalemPirate

    How does Harrison look in person, is he a legit prospect? You might have covered this earlier, but who do you see starting with Altoona next season?

    Nice interview W/Tony.

  • Tim Williams

    I think Harrison is a legit prospect. He's got good speed, makes good contact, and plays good defense. He rarely walks, but doesn't strike out a lot either.

    As for Altoona, I could see d'Arnaud, Harrison, Hague, Locke, Owens, Uviedo, Wilson, and Aguero starting out in AA next year. I think Mercer, Morris, Sanchez, and Adcock spend at least the first part of the season in High A.