Much like the Atlanta pitching staff last night, Lynchburg and Rome both started their playoff runs with dominating pitching performances. The Hillcats won 8-0 and the R-Braves won 5-3.
Lynchburg leaned on Carolina League Pitcher of the Year Gus Schlosser, who went eight innings, walking one and striking out six. He allowed the most hits of any of the three affiliates last night, three. The offense did not get going much against Wilmington until the eighth, scoring two runs that inning and four in the ninth.
The bottom of the order was key to the scoring. Brandon Schlehuber went 2-for-3 and Emerson Landoni, playing third base while Edward Salcedo DH’ed, went 3-for-4 and scored multiple runs for the first time all year. With 8 & 9 getting on base and 1-2-3 each getting two hits, it’s easy to see how the two late crooked numbers occured.
Rome did all of their offensive work early, scoring four in the second on 2-RBI hits by Cory Brownsten and Tony Mueller. They added a run in the third to close out their scoring. Andrelton Simmons singled in his first at-bat in nearly two months, finishing 1-for-4 with a throwing error.
The big story was the near no-hit bid, with Navery Moore and Ian Thomas holding Asheville hitless through eight. Nathan Hyatt entered the game, showing swing-and-miss stuff this year. He did not have it last night, going walk-hit-walk before David Peterson relieved him. After a strikeout, Jordan Ribera cleared the bases with a double, getting the tying run to the plate. Peterson then struck out the last two hitters to end the game.
In the best-of-three series, Lynchburg is currently playing Game 2, while Rome travels to Asheville to resume the series Friday.