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Lynchburg blows three run lead in the ninth to drop first playoff game

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Cleveland Indians minor league recap for September 8, 2017.

Lynchburg Hillcats 9, Frederick Keys 10

Box Score · Hillcats trail Frederick to 0-1

Lynchburg got plenty of offense, but the pitching was lacking last night as both the starters and the bullpen would blow a pair of three run leads en route to losing the first game of its five-game series against Frederick.

Lynchburg led 4-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh with starting pitching Aaron Civale tossing a gem, but Civale ran into trouble, giving up a pair of runs in the seventh and leaving with two men on. Luke Eubank allowed both inherited runners to score to give Frederick a 5-4 lead.

The Hillcats would rally in the top of the eighth inning with five runs thanks to a two-run single by Sam Haggerty, a bases-loaded walk from Andrew Calica and a two-run single from Mitch Longo.

Unfortunately, with a three-run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, usually dependable closer Argenis Angulo would give up a run and leave with the bases loaded and just one out.

Indians 40-man roster member Adam Plutko, who was sent down to help the Lynchburg playoff bullpen and get some work, stepped in. Plutko gave up a sacrifice fly to the first batter he faced, then allowed back to back RBI singles to allow Frederick to tie and then walk off the game.

Every Lynchburg starter except Ka’ai Tom had at least one hit. Connor Marabell went 3-5 with a double. Mitch Longo went 2-4 with a home run and four runs batted in while Willi Castro also went deep in the loss.

Lynchburg plays game two of the series later today at 6:30 p.m. Triston McKenzie is expected to start for the Hillcats.


The final regular season game for Low-A Mahoning Valley was cancelled due to weather. Mahoning Valley begins their playoff series tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 9) against Vermont at 6:05 p.m. Starting pitcher is TBD.