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Mudcats hold off Hillcats for fifth straight

Posted August 27

— The Lynchburg Hillcats moved the tying run to third in the ninth inning, but the Carolina Mudcats escaped the jam for a 4-3 win at Five County Stadium on Tuesday night. The Mudcats (32-31, 61-69) matched their season-long winning streak with their fifth consecutive win. The Hillcats fell to 30-33 and 64-69 overall.

Adam Plutko (4-9) took home the win after his offense backed him with three runs in the fifth inning. The right-hander limited the Hillcats to two runs while working around eight hits across five innings. He struck out five without allowing a walk. Josh Martin pitched around two errors in the ninth, recording three strikeouts, for his third save.

Lucas Sims (7-11) absorbed the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks across 4 1/3 innings. Three of the runs charged to Sims were inherited runners.

Lynchburg jumped out to a quick lead with a run in the first inning. Levi Hyams tripled off the right field wall with one out and scored on a two-out hit by Kevin Ahrens.

Torsten Boss helped the Mudcats square the game at one in the second when he singled to start the inning. Boss moved to second on an errant pickoff throw by Sims and a wild pitched allowed him to third. LeVon Washington drove a sac-fly to deep left, scoring Boss to tie the game.

A two-out double by Sean Godfrey pushed across Yenier Bello in the fifth to put the Hillcats back out front, but the Mudcats took the lead for good in the bottom of the frame. Trailing 2-1, Jerrud Sabourin and Alex Monsalve reached on consecutive hits and a walk to Boss loaded the bases.

Sims was lifted for Nate Hyatt, but the reliever couldn’t hold the runners. Joe Sever singled home Sabourin to tie the game 2-2, and Washington beat out an infield single to plate Monsalve for a 3-2 lead. Hyatt uncorked a wild pitch against James Roberts and Boss raced home for a pivotal insurance run.

Ben Heller tossed two hitless innings in relief for the Mudcats before Lynchburg sparked another rally in the eighth. Against Michael Peoples, Hyams worked a leadoff walk and moved to second on a single by Godfrey. Peoples induced a double play grounder off Ahrens for two out, but Jose Martinez singled home Hyams. The run pulled Lynchburg within one at 4-3.

A fielding error at first allowed Tyler Tewell to reach in the beginning of the ninth. However, Martin was able to strikeout Will Skinner and Johan Camargo before pinch runner Blake Brown stole second. An errant throw on the stolen base attempt by Monsalve moved Brown to third.

Martin overcame the miscue to fan Bello, securing the win.

The Mudcats continue their series against the Hillcats on Wednesday night. First pitch against Lynchburg is set for 7 p.m. at Five County Stadium and gates open at 6 p.m. The Mudcats finish off the 2014 slate with three against the Winston-Salem Dash August 30-September 1.

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