2009 Lynchburg Hillcats
Parent Club: Pittsburgh Pirates
- Composite Record: '73-66
- 1st Half Record: 45-24, Finished 0 GB in Northern Division
- 2nd Half Record: 28-42
- Qualified for playoffs
Managed by P.J. Forbes
Ballpark: Lynchburg City Stadium
Lynchburg began the season 26-15, leading the Carolina League and well ahead of the other Pirates affiliates. Given 17 come-from-behind wins in that stretch, they were nicknamed "Cardiac Cats." 3B Pedro Alvarez was one of the key players, as his 9 homers and 35 RBI were both among the top two in the league; 6 of those homers had put Lynchburg ahead and two had tied the game in the 9th inning; 2 were walkoff shots.
Lynchburg had the best record in the Northern Division in the first half of the year, earning a playoff berth. Alvarez was leading the league with 55 RBI and was second with 14 homers; he was then called up to the Altoona Curve. C Kris Watts (.313/.449/.485) and RF Miles Durham (.296/.348/.490, 19 2B) were also providing strong offense, putting up better OPSes than Alvarez (.247/.342/.486). Key first-half pitchers were Matt McSwain (6-3, 3.00), Michael Colla (4-0, 0.96) and Michael Dubee (2-0, 6 Sv, 1.45).
After Alvarez left at the midway point, the team plummeted to 28-43 in the second half. One key addition was the call-up of IF Chase d'Arnaud, who hit .295/.402/.481 and scored 45 runs in 54 games.
For the year, the top hitters were Alvarez (.247/.342/.486), d'Arnaud (.295/.402/.481), Watts (.291/.405/.432) and Durham (.296/.348/.490). The top hurlers were relievers Dubee (2-0, 6 Sv, 1.05), Tom Boleska (1-1, 1.60) and R.J. Rodriguez (6-3, 27 Sv, 3.08) and starters Ronald Uviedo (5-5, 3 Sv, 3.36) and McSwain (11-8, Sv, 3.43).
Lynchburg faced Wilmington in the first round of the playoffs. They lost game one, but took game two on a 1-0 shutout by Rudy Owens. Dropping game three, they stayed alive with a 5-2 game four win in which Pittsburgh's 2009 first-rounder Tony Sanchez drilled a 2-run homer. In the decisive game five, Josh Harrison drove in four of Lynchburg's five runs as they beat Wilmington 5-2; Bryan Morris got the win.
In the finals, the Hillcats faced Salem. They handily took game one 9-2 behind the pitching of Justin Wilson and the bats of Chase d'Arnaud and Matt Hague. In game two, Jose De Los Santos hit the walk-off homer in the 9th, his first home run in four years, in a 5-4 victory. They won their fifth straight to complete the sweep, 8-7, as Jordy Mercer was 4 for 5 with 2 RBI and 2 doubles. Michael Colla pitched 3 1/3 shutout, hitless innings after replacing starter Jeff Locke in the second, to get the win. D'Arnaud, with 7 RBI in 3 games, was named the MVP of the finals.
Marketing and Media
|Roster||Coaching Staff||Off Field Staff|