September 9, 2016 Lynchburg Hillcats

We’re deep into the play-offs now in our minor league history and for today, we’ll focus on the 2016 Hillcats. That season, they won the Northern Division in the Carolina League by a dominant 10 games, but lost the opening match against the Potomic Nationals. They won game two in 14 innings which brings us to game three.

Lefty Sean Brady started for the Hillcats, although Lynchburg would use five pitchers to make it through. Matthew Crownover started for the Nats. Brady struck out the first four hitters he faced and five of his first six outs with a hit and walk mixed harmlessly between. Through the middle of four, there was still no score for either team.

In the bottom half, Lynchburg got on the board first with an Anthony Santander double and Dorssys Paulino sacrifice fly. Brady gave up two hits the following inning, but remained unscathed and ended up staying in through one out in the sixth, when he was replaced by Leandro Linares. Linares also pitched the seventh with two strike outs and no base runners allowed. In the bottom half, Crownover was still in, but after Bobby Bradley reached on an error, he was pulled as well. This may have been a mistake as almost immediately after, Yu Chang hit a home run to give the Hillcats a three run lead. Connor Marabell singled and stole second, but the second reliever of the inning managed to keep him from scoring.

Mitch Brown came in to relieve Linares in the eighth and allowed a hit and a walk, leading to another pitcher, Billy Strode. After retiring one, Trevor Frank came in for the final out which he recorded on a K. He stayed in for the ninth and allowed two doubles, giving the Nationals their first run, but struck out two of the final three hitters to keep the Lynchburg lead intact. He earned the save for his effort with each other pitcher earning a hold except Brady who got the win. Overall, the pitching staff struck out 12, walked two and gave up just six hits.

This win pushed the Hillcats into the championship round against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Once there, they won game one in extra innings, but ultimately lost three games in a row to lose the series.

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