The Lynchburg Hillcats are the 2012 Carolina League Champs!
The Lynchburg Hillcats came from behind twice, with Adam Milligan's 11th inning sacrifice fly giving them the walkoff win, making them the 2012 Carolina League Champions.
Lynchburg Hillcats 5, Winston-Salem Dash 4, 11 innings
- Nick Ahmed SS 4-5, 3 2B, RBI
- Edward Salcedo 3B 1-5, 2B, E
- Michael Spina DH 1-4, 2B, RBI
- Adam Milligan PH-RF 0-2, SF, RBI
- Aaron Northcraft 6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 3 K
- Ryan Weber 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K
- John Cornely 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 BB, 7 K, W
The Hillcats got on the board first, with leadoff man Dan Brewer's walk followed by a Nick Ahmed double and a RBI groundout by Tommy La Stella, but the Dash came back with a run in the top of the 2nd. Lynchburg starter Aaron Northcraft left after 6 innings, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, with the Dash leading 3-1. The Hillcats would mount their first comeback in the bottom of the 6th, with Dan Brewer, who walked, scoring on a Nick Ahmed double and Ahmed eventually scoring on a wild pitch to tie the game at 3. The tie wouldn't last, as Ian Marshall came on in the 7th, allowing a double and a sacrifice bunt before being relieved by Matt Chaffee, who would allow the runner to score from third on a sacrifice fly. The Hillcats would go into the bottom of the 9th down a run, but back to back doubled by Edward Salcedo and Michael Spina tied the game, sending it to extra innings. After a scoreless 10th and top of the 11th, Matt Weaver singled to leadoff the bottom of the 11th. Braeden Schlehuber moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt and reached first himself thanks to an error by the pitcher. After a pitching change, Myke Jones hit an infield single, loading the bases. Adam Milligan, who entered the game in the 8th as a pinch hitter, lofted a ball to right field, scoring Weaver from third, giving the Hillcats the game and series win. Nick Ahmed, who had 4 hits in the game, including 3 doubles, was named the series MVP. At one point in the game, Lynchburg had 3 runs on 3 hits, all Ahmed doubles. Righty reliever John Cornely earned the win with a fantastic outing, striking out 7 over 3 shutout innings.
It's been a great Minor League season for the Atlanta Braves organization, and it ended in a wonderful way. Congratulations to the 2012 Lynchburg Hillcats, the Carolina League Champions!