Errors doom Woodies in loss at Lynchburg
Story by Dominic Cotroneo / Down East Wood Ducks
LYNCHBURG, Va. -- Unearned runs were the difference for the Lynchburg Hillcats (27-20 second half, 56-58 overall) as they defeated the Down East Wood Ducks (15-33, 50-68) 6-3 with three unearned runs on the night. The Wood Ducks benefited from homers by LeDarious Clark and Alex Kowalczyk to push their league lead to 103 homers this season.
Clark’s blast in the first came eight pitches into the game for a 1-0 Wood Duck lead. It was his eighth homer of the season and his second off Lynchburg starer Tanner Tully this season.
The lead was short-lived as the Hillcats responded with a double and a single in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 1-1. A double play helped contain the threat for starter Rollie Lacy, but the second inning would not be so kind.
Lynchburg took advantage of an error in the frame and loaded the bases with the bottom of the order due up. Lacy subsequently allowed a walk, a sacrifice fly and an RBI single to give the Hillcats a 4-1 lead.
One of the three runs in the second were unearned and they added another in the fourth on a passed ball. Trailing 5-1, the Woodies started to get the offense clicking in the fifth on a two-out rally started by Leody Taveras’ single. Clark followed with a base hit and then Leblanc tagged an RBI double to left-center - the second of three hits in the game for him.
Both offenses went quiet from there until the seventh. Kaleb Fontenot delivered three innings of relief to match a season-high and did not allow an earned run in his work.
Kowalcyzk’s homer plated the last run for the Wood Ducks in the game. His 10th homer set a new career-high for a single season and extended his on-base streak to 10 games.
The Woodies will look to bounce back in Game 2 Saturday at 6 p.m. Right-hander Steven Bruce will try to follow up his historic complete game shutout last Sunday when he faces Hillcats right-hander Eli Morgan.