After rain delayed the start to the Carolina League Northern Division Series, the Wilmington Blue Rocks beat host Lynchburg, 6-1.
The Blue Rocks took a 1-0 lead in the first, as Carlos Garcia led off the game with a single (he went 4-for-4). He came around to score on a two out, RBI single from Elier Hernandez.
That proved to be enough for Alec Mills, who allowed just two hits and walked three over six scoreless innings. He struck out six.
Mills walked the leadoff hitter in the first, but immediately picked him off. After a single with two outs by Clint Frazier, Mills retired seven in a row before a single to start the fourth.
Yender Caramo earned the save, as he pitched three innings of relief. He allowed a solo home run with two outs in the ninth.
The Blue Rocks tacked on some insurance runs late in the game. Ryan O’Hearn doubled with one out in the sixth and came around to score on a Cam Gallagher two out single.
In the 7th, Logan Moon led off with a single, moved to second base on a Garcia sac bunt, moved to third on a Jack Lopez ground out, and scored on Mauricio Ramos‘ single. O’Hearn followed with an RBI double.
In the 8th, one of the newest Blue Rocks, Brandon Downes entered on defense in centerfield. It looks like this may be the move for manager Brian Buchanan late in games, pulling Hernandez and moving Dominique Taylor from center to right.
In the top of the ninth, Garcia singled, stole second base, went to third on a Lopez ground out, and scored on a fielder’s choice (plus a throwing error). Downes then delivered his first High-A RBI on a two out single to center.
For the Hillcats, starter Michael Peoples was the hard luck loser. After allowing that first inning run, he struck out nine over six innings.
The two teams now travel to Wilmington for Game 2 on Thursday night. The weather outlook isn’t good, as this area needs rain.