The Wilmington Blue Rocks were looking for a second straight win on Wednesday but this time on the road at Calvin Falwell Field against the Lynchburg Hillcats. Rocks pitching, offense and a bit of luck got the job done which earned the team their second straight win of the week.
The win should not come as any surprise though as the Rocks have dominated the Hillcats in their last seven match ups with winning five. Also, Wilmington has dominated the Hillcats on the year with winning 12 out of the 17 times the two teams have faced each other.
The offensive standouts in the game for the Rocks were center fielder Blake Perkins and DH D.J. Burt.
Perkins had two runs and four hits in five at bats in the win.
Burt had two runs, two hits, one home run, one walk and two RBIs in four at bats in the win.
Rocks starting pitcher Daniel Tillo had a solid game in the win going six innings, six hits, two runs, two earned runs, two walks and seven strikeouts.
Rocks Strike Early
The Blue Rocks did not wait to get runs on the board as in the top of the first inning, DH D.J. Burt hit a two run home run which scored center fielder Blake Perkins and himself to give his team a early 2-0 lead.
As Rocks starting pitcher Daniel Tillo was mowing down the Hillcats lineup, the Rocks offense was ready to put some more runs on the board in the top of the third inning,
The first run in the third inning was batted in by second baseman Gabriel Cancel who grounded out which scored Perkins to increase the Rocks lead to 3-0.
The second run in the third inning came from third baseman Emmanuel Rivera who hit a sacrifice fly which scored Burt to increase Rocks lead to 4-0.
Hillcats Strike Late
Rocks pitcher Tillo was on a roll in the first five innings in the game as he was just having his way with the Hillcats batters with giving up zero runs.
In the sixth inning, it was a different story as Tillo gave up two runs to decrease Rocks lead to 4-2.
Hillcats first run of the inning came from catcher Li-Jen Chu who walked in a run which was right fielder Jorma Rodriguez to decrease Rocks lead to 4-1.
The second run of the inning came from Rocks pitcher Tillo who threw a wild pitch which scored Lynchburg’s third baseman Gavin Collins to decrease Rocks lead to 4-2.
The sixth inning is where Rocks pitcher Tillo ended his night with him going six innings, six hits, two runs, two earned runs, two walks and seven strikeouts.
Then Corey Ray came into the game in the seventh inning to relieve Tillo for the Rocks and gave up two runs which tied the game up at four.
The two runs came from DH Trenton Brooks who hit a line drive double to right field to score shortstop Ernie Clement and Gavin Collins.
Hillcats Wild Pitch Leads To Rock Game Winner
In the top of the eighth inning, the Rocks would get their game winning run from Hillcats pitcher Micah Miniard who threw a wild pitch which scored Rivera to give the Rocks a 5-4 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Rocks reliever Ray did his thing and got the Hillcats hitters out without any runs crossing this time.
Ray ended the night by going two innings, three hits, two runs, two earned runs, one walk, two strikeouts, earned his first blown save of the season and earned his first win of the season.
In the bottom of the ninth, it was all up to closer Tyler Zuber to close the game out for the Rocks and he did just that as he went one inning and earned his fourth save of the year.
Rocks continue the series with the Hillcats tomorrow at Calvin Falwell Field with the first pitch at 5:30 pm ET.