Great pitching and homers from a rehabbing Andrelton Simmons and catcher Braeden Schlehuber gave Lynchburg a 2-1 win to eliminate the Wilmington Blue Rock and put the Hillcats in the Carolina League Championship Series starting Saturday night. Rome started the night strong, but faltered in the second half of the game, losing to Asheville to even their series at 1 game apiece. The deciding Game 3 will take place Saturday night.
Lynchburg Hillcats 2, Wilmington Blue Rocks 1
- Andrelton Simmons SS 1-4, HR, RBI, CS
- Chris Garcia 1B 1-3
- Adam Milligan RF 1-3
- Braeden Schlehuber C 1-3, HR, RBI
- Emerson Landoni 3B 1-3
- Aaron Northcraft 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K
- John Cornely 1.1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K, W
Juan Jaime 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K, SV
Andrelton Simmons, working on a rehab assignment, homered in the bottom of the 4th to tie the game at 1, and Braeden Schlehuber homered in the bottom of the 8th to put the Hillcats ahead with a 2-1 lead that would hold, as the team won its divisional playoff series. Starter Aaron Northcraft allowed 1 earned run over 6.2 innings before leaving with 2 runners on, which reliever John Cornely stranded on the way to throwing 1.1 scoreless. Juan Jaime allowed a walk and struck out 2 in a scoreless 9th inning for the save.
The Hillcats will face the Winston-Salem Dash in the best of 5 Carolina League Championship Series. Big righty Michael Lee is scheduled to start Game 1 Saturday night in Winston-Salem.
Rome Braves 2, Asheville Tourists 6
- Ross Heffley 2B 2-4, HR, RBI
- William Beckwith 1B 2-4
- Will Skinner RF 2-4, OF Assist
- Greg Ross 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 2 K
Starter Greg Ross wall rolling along, tossing 5 scoreless innings before allowing 3 runs in the 6th, putting Rome in a hole they would never recover from, as Asheville wins the second game of the series. Relievers Ronan Pacheco, Wilson Rivera, and Fabian Williamson combined to allow 3 more runs in 2 innings of work. Ross Heffley hit a solo homer in the third that gave Rome a 1-0 lead. The team's other run came in the 7th when Will Skinner scored on a throwing error. Skinner had 2 hits in the game, as did William Beckwith.
The deciding game 3 of the series will take place Saturday night in Asheville, with AJ Holland scheduled to start for Rome.