Right-handed pitcher Steven Sparks pitched six strong innings and Corey Pointer hit two mammoth home runs to lead the Lynchburg Hillcats to a 7-1 victory over the Frederick Keys tonight in a Class A Carolina League game before 6,172 at Harry Grove Stadium.
Despite leading the league in team batting, the Keys (20-22) could not do much against Sparks (2-0). Sparks yielded six hits and one run. Jay Spurgeon (5-7) took the loss.
"He knows how to pitch," Keys Manager Andy Etchebarren said. "[We] didn't get too many pitches to hit, but we didn't make the necessary adjustments, either."
Derrick Lankford gave the Hillcats (21-21) the lead in the first inning with a two-run homer to right off Spurgeon, and Pointer added a two-run shot in the second inning. The Hillcats didn't score again until the eighth, when Pointer hit a three-run homer off Derek Brown to make it 7-1.
The Keys' lone run came in the seventh inning, when they blew their most promising opportunity. Pappy Ndungidi lined a shot past the pitcher. With only one out, and after two consecutive walks, Darnell McDonald grounded out on a fielder's choice that scored only Ndungidi. Eddy Garabito then flied out and Ivanov Coffie struck out.
BLUE ROCKS 6, CANNONS 4: Potomac lost its third straight game and fell 5 1/2 games behind first-place Wilmington with the loss at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge. The Cannons had a 2-0 lead in the first before starter Travis Held (1-7) gave up four runs in the second inning.