Lynchburg lost in a heartbreaker on Wednesday night in game one of a best-of-three series against the Potomac Nationals. The Hillcats were one out away from taking the game 1-0, but John Cornely, one of the eight prospects headed to the Arizona Fall League for the Braves, could not nail down the save. Starting pitcher Greg Ross had one of the best starts of his professional career, going six innings and allowing no runs on two hits, a walk, and ten strikeouts. The 23-year-old had a solid campaign for Lynchburg this season, posting a 3.27 ERA with a 91:36 strikeout-to-walk ratio and allowing just under one hit per inning. The 6'3", 200-pound righty also kept the ball on the ground throughout the season, sporting a 2.14 groundball-to-flyball ratio. Brandon Cunniff, Chasen Shreve, and Nate Hyatt all pitched over an inning of relief, allowing no runs on two hits. 2011 Rule 5 draft pick Robert Fish came in to pitch the bottom of the 14th inning, promptly hitting a batter and allowing a single before recording his first and only out via a sacrifice bunt, which moved both runners into scoring position. Wilson Rivera relieved Fish with one out in the inning and immediately recorded an out, but with two outs in the inning, center fielder Michael Taylor singled to left field, scoring the winning run from third.
Offense was scarce in the first game of the series, as both teams could only muster seven hits apiece. Second baseman Emerson Landoni was the bright spot on offense, collecting three hits, including a double, and knocking in Lynchburg's only run of the evening. Third baseman Kyle Kubitza reached base twice via a walk and a single, while David Rohm, Anthony Nunez, and Levi Hyams all contributed singles of their own.
Lynchburg continues their series tonight against the Nationals and will send lefty Ryan Hinson to the mound in the do-or-die contest. The Mississippi Braves open up their best-of-five series against the Mobile BayBears Thursday night. Michael Lee will start for the M-Braves and will go toe-to-toe with Archie Bradley, arguably the best pitching prospect in baseball.
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