This Game Could Have Been Shorter: Dash make up seven runs, but lose in 11 innings

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Things were going smoothly in Winston on Sunday, until the fifth inning, when things started to not go so smoothly and continued that way until the end of the game. The Dash and the Hillcats had traded baserunners but no runs up until that point, with Jorgan Cavanerio on the mound for the home team. Cavanerio is a guy who is going to find himself pitching out of jams pretty often, just due to not striking a lot of batters out and not having overpowering stuff in general, and before the fifth, he did a good job of that. 

But then the wheels came off. The Hillcats’ Tyler Friis (pronounced “Freeze,” in direct opposition to the Dash’s Tyler Frost) bookended the inning with a popup and a lineout, but Lynchburg ran wild in between, almost all with two outs. It started with back-to-back one-out walks to top Indians prospects Tyler Freeman and Nolan Jones, then Oscar González flew out for the second out of the inning. Will Benson walked to load the bases, then Gavin Collins hit a two-run single, then Mitch Reeves hit a one-run single. That was it for Cavanerio, who left with two runners on.

Jose Nin entered in relief and walked the first batter he faced, re-loading the bases. He then threw a wild pitch, scoring another run, and capped it all off with a three-run home run off the bat of someone named Jodd Carter (the indignity), putting the Dash down 7-0.

Wildly, that was all the scoring the Hillcats could manage until extras (spoiler alert). It was a different story for the Dash, who were shut out through six innings, then scored nine runs over the next four.

The first Dash run came harmlessly enough, a wild pitch in the seventh scoring Zach Remillard with two outs. The inning was capped off, though, when catcher Evan Skoug was caught looking at strike three. Skoug, uh, disagreed with the call and made it known; he was ejected before Dash manager Justin Jirschele could reach the scene, which did not do wonders for Jirsch’s mood. Unkind things were said; a helmet was thrown; faces were gotten all up into. Jirschele ended up ejected as well and took his time leaving the field to raucous cheers from the crowd.

This ended up being the jolt the Dash apparently needed, and they came back in the eighth with five more runs. Two came on a bases-loaded single off the bat of Jameson Fisher. The other three came in the very next at-bat, as Professional Hitter Zach Remillard came to the plate and drilled a ball out of the park to left-center, cutting the Lynchburg lead to 7-6.

The Dash don’t have many power hitters, now that Luis Robert has ascended to a higher plane of baseball existence. They’ll generate a home run maybe every other game or so, and it’s rare that they’ll hit more than one in a day. This made Tyler Frost’s game-tying ninth-inning dinger that much more unexpected. Frost has been streaky all year, but since a four-hit game on May 25 is slashing .347/.398/.627/1.024. This was his fourth home run since then and seventh of the year overall. Steele Walker then doubled and Fisher (intentionally) and Remillard (unintentionally) both walked to load the bases, but Craig Dedelow wasn’t able to capitalize and grounded out to end the ninth.

Andrew Perez, out for his second inning of the game and fourth overall with the Dash, didn’t have his best stuff, and neither did the defense. Sloppy play — on a bunt single, on a fielder’s choice, on a force out — all led to runners reaching base and two runs crossing the plate, giving the Hillcats a 9-7 lead in the 10th. The Dash immediately came back in the bottom of the inning, a leadoff triple by JJ Muno scoring placed-at-second-runner Dedelow to make it 9-8, then Carlos Perez — in the game to replace Skoug — grounded out to score Muno and tie things up.

Jake Elliott came out of the pen in the 11th after starting Friday’s game (going only two innings), and it didn’t take long before a single and a wild pitch made it 10-9, Lynchburg. A two-run Tyler Frost throwing error from center field cemented the Dash’s fate, and they were unable to make up the 12-9 deficit in the bottom of the inning.

Frost had three hits, including the home run; Fisher also reached three times; Remillard reached four through two hits and two walks, and Roman reached twice via hit and walk. Vince Arobio was the sole Dash pitcher to not give up any runs, with two more scoreless innings (8.2 so far for the Dash without a run allowed). The team made three errors (Yrizarri, Roman, Frost), turned two double plays, and went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position. A pitcher yet to be announced (mysterious!) will make the start on Monday at 7 pm.

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    Is Jake Burger playing anywhere yet?

  • In reply to Bill Batten:

    Not yet! Two weeks ago Hahn said he had a bruised heel that set him back 7-10 days, but no updates since then.

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