Baseball: Lynhcburg Hillcats vs. Fredericksburg Nationals
The Lynchburg Hillcats, the Single-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians, are gearing up for a playoff run.
Their regular season, however, did not end the way a playoff-bound team would hope. The Hillcats played a five-game series against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers Sept. 6-11, losing three of the five games.
They were shut out 0-3 in their final game of the series with just two hits on the day. Fayetteville pitchers Calderon, DeVos and Guilfoil combined for 16 strikeouts.
The Hillcats will need to have a short memory, however, as the playoffs await.
In Minor League Baseball, the season is split into two halves. The winner of each half of the season makes the playoffs. Lynchburg won the first half (the Carolina League North Division title) in June, ultimately clinching them a playoff spot.
Winning the first half of the season has taken some pressure off the Hillcats, while most teams are clawing to clinch a playoff spot.
The second half of the season, however, has brought some struggles for the team with its roster being a revolving door for the other Guardians affiliates. The entire pitching rotation from the opening day roster has been called up to High-A Lake County. Lynchburg, however, remains filled with plenty of young talent, being home to five of the Guardians’ top 30 prospects, according to Fangraphs.com.
Lynchburg awaited the entire second half of the season to find out who its first-round matchup would be. The team got its answer Sept. 6 when the Nationals clinched a playoff spot by winning the second half of the Carolina League north division.
Now, the Hillcats and Nationals will square off in a best-of-three series beginning Sept. 13.
Elmore is a sports reporter for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on Twitter
Photo by Gary Streiffer