Lynchburg, Virginia. Known as the City of Seven Hills, Lynchburg was the only major Virginia city that did not fall to the Union before the end of the Civil War. Lynchburg is known as the City of Seven Hills because of its location, nestled at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Therefore, Hillcats is an appropriate name for the city’s Carolina League baseball team.
And today, the Lynchburg Hillcats, the affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, are in the running to make the playoffs for the third time in 6 years. The Hillcats sit behind first place Potomac in the division with just a few weeks left in the season. But, Lynchburg has something in their favor that would allow them to make the playoffs anyway. Because their division rivals at Potomac won the first half title, the wildcard would kick in if Potomac wins the second half title as well. Lynchburg currently sits 3 games out of first, but has a 2-game cushion on third place Wilmington and 5.5-game lead on Frederick.
Who has helped get Lynchburg into teh playoff picture? For starters, and I mean that literally, RHP Jarrett Miller is 8-7 with a 3.93 ERA. RH reliever Alex Wilson has saved 15 games, 2nd best in the Carolina League, and has posted a 1.73 ERA, and is unscored upon in his last 7 games. 2B Jose Peraza hit .342 in 66 games before moving on to Double-A. SS Emerson Landoni is batting .306 in just 38 games since being re-assigned here from Double-A.
So the pieces are there for Lynchburg to make the playoffs. We will see if the Braves affiliate can hang on to that last playoff spot. The last two playoff appearances by the Lynchburg franchise resulted in Carolina League championships, in 2009 and 2012.