Last night the Lynchburg Hillcats went to extra innings with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, and missed taking the lead twice on fly balls to the warning track. Frawley Stadium, home to the Blue Rocks, is one of the most pitcher friendly stadiums in the Carolina league, thanks to a very spacious outfield, including a deep left field (see picture here).
Lynchburg Hillcats even series thanks to Tony Sanchez HR
So when Tony Sanchez came up tonight in the top of the 8th inning, with the score tied 2-2, a runner on third, and one out, my thought was “maybe he can hit a deep shot for a sac fly”. Sanchez ended up hitting a deep shot, going over the left field wall for a two run homer to give the Hillcats a 4-2 lead. It was the first home run for Sanchez since arriving in Lynchburg, after hitting seven homers in 155 at-bats in West Virginia.
Then, Chase d’Arnaud led off the top of the 9th inning with another homer, once again over the left field wall, giving the Hillcats some insurance to make the score 5-2.
The Hillcats have seen some nice pitching this series, with just two runs the last two games, thanks to a two run walk off shot by Eric Hosmer on Friday night. That continued today, with Nathan Adcock pitching five innings, allowing two runs (one unearned) on five hits, with three walks and four strikeouts. Matt McSwain did a great job in relief, pitching four shutout innings and allowing two hits, two walks, and striking out two to get the win.
Jamie Romak also had a great game, arguably the most important performance for the Hillcats. Romak scored the first three Hillcats runs, going 2 for 4 on the day. He singled to lead off the top of the sixth inning, then scored on an Alex Presley single to tie the game. He led off the top of the 8th inning with a double, and scored on the Sanchez homer.
The series returns to Lynchburg tomorrow night at 6:05 PM for the final game of this best of five series. I’ll be at the game, providing Twitter updates and doing a video recap, as I believe Bryan Morris will be pitching. The winner of tomorrow’s game goes on to play Salem in a best of five series for the 2009 Carolina League title, with game one taking place on Monday.