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Four-run second inning powers Hillcats to win over Shorebirds in series finale
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Four-run second inning powers Hillcats to win over Shorebirds in series finale

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The Lynchburg Hillcats took advantage of a pair of Delmarva errors and used a pair of sacrifices, a walk and two hits to take an early lead they never relinquished, wrapping up the series Sunday with a 5-2 win at Bank of the James Stadium. 

Delmarva starter Ryan Watson quickly recorded three outs in the first inning, but he and the Shorebirds’ defense ran into trouble after that.

The Hillcats (18-16) found momentum early in the second thanks to a throwing error by Gunnar Henderson.

Hosea Nelson’s sacrifice bunt, coupled with Henderson’s second error of the day, pushed the first run across two batters later. Cody Farhat’s single, a sacrifice fly by Alexfri Planez and Angel Martinez’s triple increased the lead to 4-0.

Delmarva (23-11) cut the lead to 4-2 in the third on three hits and a wild pitch from Hillcats starter Lenny Torres, but that’s as close as it got.

Planez tacked on a run on his double in the eighth.

Lynchburg tallied eight hits, including two each from Nelson and Farhat. Darrell Hernaiz had two of Delmarva’s seven hits.

Watson (2-1) lasted just 1 2/3 innings and took the loss. He was responsible for all four of Lynchburg’s early runs, though none of them was earned. 

Lynchburg reliever Juan Zapata (1-0) entered in the fourth and tossed 1 1/3 perfect frames in his first win. Josh Wolf threw the final four scoreless frames to earn his first save. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out three.

The Hillcats won two of five in the weather-shortened series (the one game missed will be tacked on to a later series with Delmarva). They’re now second in the Low-A East North Division and five games back of Delmarva.

A six-game road series with Fredericksburg (11-25), the last-place team in the division, begins Tuesday.

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Less than 24 hours after breaking out their bats for an impressive showing in a game that ended after press time Friday, the Lynchburg offense was stymied Saturday, and the Hillcats dropped both games of a doubleheader to Carolina. 

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Lynchburg (31-32) entered this one having won four of its last five. But the Hillcats gave up double-digit runs to Fredericksburg — the cellar dweller in the Low-A East North Division standings — for the second time in the six-game homestand. 

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