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Hillcats' offense remains in slump in series opener against Shorebirds
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LOW-A EAST BASEBALL

Hillcats' offense remains in slump in series opener against Shorebirds

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Yainer Diaz did his best to awaken Lynchburg’s dormant offense Tuesday evening. The Hillcats designated hitter clubbed a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the long ball cut the deficit to one run.

The Hillcats didn’t get any closer.

Shelton Perkins struck out Hosea Nelson on five pitches to end Lynchburg’s chances, and Delmarva opened a six-game series with a 3-2 triumph at Bank of the James Stadium.

The Hillcats (16-14) managed only three hits Tuesday in losing for the 10th time in the past 13 games.

The Shorebirds (21-9) have been responsible for five of those losses after taking four of five in a series in Salisbury, Maryland, during the last week of May.

Delmarva starter Noah Fenoyer (3-0) limited the Hillcats to one hit over five scoreless innings, walked three and struck out five.

The lone hit he allowed came on Eric Rodriguez’s leadoff single in the third inning, but Fenoyer escaped the frame facing the minimum by making Angel Martinez ground into an inning-ending double play.

Delmarva took the lead for good on Cristopher Cespedes’ two-run homer in the fifth against Hillcats starter Randy Labaut (2-1).

That was the second and final hit allowed by Labaut in his five-inning outing. Both runs were earned, and he walked two and struck out three.

Alexfri Planez cut the Hillcats’ deficit to 2-1 on his run-scoring single in the seventh inning, but Gunnar Henderson answered with an RBI single in the eighth to extend the lead back to two runs.

Diaz’s homer came with two outs in the ninth, but Perkins finished his 2 1/3-inning outing by striking out Nelson for his third strikeout of the frame and sixth of the appearance.

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