08/05/05 — Kinston falls to Lynchburg

View Archive

Kinston falls to Lynchburg

Published in Sports on August 5, 2005 2:02 PM

KINSTON -- The Kinston Indians blew their second seven-inning lead in three nights as Lynchburg scored twice in the top of the eighth to defeat the K-Tribe 3-2 Thursday night.

The Hillcats improved to 23-17 in the second half and 63-47 overall, while Kinston dropped to 16-24 and 57-53. The Indians had been 48-0 when leading after seven innings before losing to Myrtle Beach Tuesday.

The Indians had a pair of one-run leads in the early going, beginning with Rodney Choy Foo's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first.

Argenis Reyes reached on an error to start the inning and then moved to third when Lynchburg starter Wardell Starling threw a pickoff attempt down the right field line before scoring on Coy Foo's fly ball.

Lynchburg rallied to tie the game in the top of the second though, as Mike McCuistion singled with one out. Avelino Asprilla followed with a ground ball that could have turned into a 5-4-3 double play, but Reyes' relay from second bounced in at first as Stephen Head couldn't make the scoop. That essentially gave Lynchburg an extra out, and Brandon Chaves made Kinston pay with an RBI triple down the right field line to tie the game.

Reyes would atone for his blunder in the bottom of the third, however, bunting his way on to start the inning before going to third on a broken-bat single by Nathan Panther. Choy Foo then delivered once more, lofting a fly ball to deep left field for his second sac fly of the night as Reyes scored again and gave Kinston a 2-1 lead.

It looked for a long time like that might be enough for the Indians, and with Sean Smith on the hill for the first six innings it was. Smith did not allow a runner past first base after the triple by Chaves, and ended his night with a career-high 10 strikeouts before giving way to the bullpen in the seventh. Chris Niesel maneuvered around a leadoff double by Vic Buttler in the seventh, but the eighth inning would prove to be a different story.

Niesel departed in the eighth responsible for runners on first and second as Kinston called on Tony Sipp for a lefty-lefty match-up with Buttler. A wild pitch by Sipp advanced the runners to second and third, moving the go-ahead run into scoring position. Sipp was holding left-handed hitters to a .153 average but Buttler was hitting .343 against lefties, and on a 2-2 pitch Buttler won the battle with a single to right field, scoring Taber Lee with the tying run and Bobby Kingsbury with what proved to be the winning run.

The comeback made a winner out of Starling (9-7), who allowed two runs (one earned) and six hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out four.

The comeback also ruined Smith's great outing, as he took a no-decision despite turning in his eighth quality start. He allowed just one run and four hits in six innings, with two walks and those career-high 10 Ks.

Niesel (0-1) was charged with both runs in 12/3 innings. Panther and Micah Schilling both had two hits for Kinston.