JUly recap HILLCATS FLEX MUSCLES IN THE MONTH OF JULY, PICK UP MOST WINS OF ANY MONTH THIS SEASON The Hillcats picked up 14 wins in July, and excelled away from City Stadium. Despite going just 5-9 at home, Lynchburg went 9-4 on the road last month. Lynchburg boost- ed a team batting average of .278 in July, the best of any month this season. Their previous team-high was a .252 mark in May. Additionally, the Hillcats put together their best pitching performance of the season, sporting a team ERA of 3.62. Despite all of the success, the Wilmington Blue Rocks put together a 19-8 record in July, push- ing Lynchburg to 4.5 games back of first place entering August. THEY’VE GOT THE POWER! After belting just 25 home runs in the first half of the season, the Hillcats have already hit 30 long balls in the club’s first 37 games of the second half, including 24 in July. The Hillcats previous high for home runs in a month was 12 in May. Lynchburg hit a season-high five home runs in the July 2 win against the Keys, including three in one inning, which also marked a season-best. Additionally after tallying just six multi-hom- er games in the first half, they have already accounted for five in the second half. CLOSE CALLS The Hillcats string of losses in July came down to the wire. Eight of Lynchburg 13 loses in the month, including eight of their last 11 overall were by two runs or less. The defeats dropped the club to 12-18 in one-run games this season, yet they are 9-7 in two-run contests. TAPIA TIME: Emmanuel Tapia surged for the Hillcats offensively in July. After hitting .149 in May and .148 in June, the 22-year-old hit .321 in July, with two home runs and 12 RBI, the most he’s had in any month. He had a six-game hitting streak snapped in his second- to-last game of the month, which was his second-longest hit streak of the year. Tapia cracked 17 hits in July, as well as four doubles, which are also the most he has had in any month this year.
MAGNIFICENT MITCH Mitch Longo also caught fire at the plate in July when he was positioned into the No. 2 spot in the batting order. Longo was hitting lead off for the majority of the year until Ernie Clement took over that role when he joined the team in late June. Longo batted a season-best .326 in July while driving home 14 runs. He also blasted two homers. Since being bumped down in order, he is hitting .313 with two home runs and 17 RBI. Over his last 16 games in July, he went for a .346 mark (27-for-78) with two homers and 13 RBI. He is second in the league in doubles (24), and is tied for third t in the Carolina League in hits (106) and runs scored (57). His .297 average is 8th best in the circuit entering August. ALL ABOARD THE CHU CHU TRAIN Li-Jen Chu went on a tear at the plate in July, going 27-80 (.337), including four home runs, 13 RBI and three doubles. It was his best month of the season. Chu tallied a four-hit game on July 20 against Wilmington, and hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning on July 21 against Carolina. Chu won Player of the Week in the Carolina League during the week of 7/16-7/22. GAV PROVIDING PUNCH 3B/C Gavin Collins returned from the DL on July 12, and has been racking up the extra-base hits. Overall since his return, Collins has gone 13-for-56 (.232), with nine of those 13 hits going for extra-bases. He had six doubles, a triple and two homers in just a few weeks of playing time in July. He also enjoyed a nine-game hitting streak from July 14-24. With Logan Ice promoted to Double-A Akron, Collins is now the second catcher on the roster behind Li-Jen Chu. Gems and Jewels of July: WHAT A FOURTH! As has been the case for the last three decades, the Hillcats hosted their annual Fourth of July game against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Lynchburg won the game, 6-4, in front of a packed house of 4,521. The Independence Day crowd was the larg- est of the season, surpassing Opening Day when 3,092 fans were at City Stadium. STRASBURG REHABS IN LYNCHBURG On Tuesday, July 10, Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg appeared in a rehab game with the Potomac Nationals at City Stadium. The right-hander fired 3.1 innings, and allowed one run on two hits, while striking out five. Both Dillon Persinger and Conner Capel doubled off of the three-time All-Star. Strasburg’s appearance marked the first time a Major League rehabber played in Lynchburg since Edinson Volquez in 2010, when the Hillcats were a Cincinnati Reds affiliate. 4,472 fans at- tended the game, making it the second-largest home crowd of the year behind the Fourth of July. YOU’RE SUSPENDED The Hillcats game against the Carolina Mudcats on July 23 was suspended in the sixth inning due to rain. After a scoreless five innings, Carolina scored five runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead before the rain started to fall. The game will resume on August 7 in Zebulon because the Mudcats do not return to City Stadium this season. Following the completion of the suspended game, the two teams will play the regular- ly-scheduled nine-inning game.
Hillcats 2018 Roster
Last Updated: July 27, 2018 NUMERICALROSTER
PITCHERS (13+2 DL)
1 4 6 7 8 9
Conner Capel Erlin Cerda Alexis Pantoja Jodd Carter Gavin Collins Jorma Rodriguez Mitch Longo Ernie Clement Luke Wakamatsu Trenton Brooks Jared Robinson Leandro Linares Nick Pasquale Ben Krauth Sam Hentges Li-Jen Chu Emmanuel Tapia
Events for the Entire Family! 60 Sports & 11,000 athletes Athletes of all ages and skill levels!
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Donated $55k+ to local youth league teams and non-profit organizations
Donated 12,000 books designed by the Lynchburg Hillcats and 24,000 tickets to students in Central Virginia.
32 Player appearances to local schools and organizations.
75 Southpaw community appearances.
Presented “Southpaw Goes to School” Reading Program to 50 different schools across 5 counties.
Hosted 8 middle schools and over 800 students for “Say No to Drugs Day at the Ballpark.”
$179k+ in in-kind gifts donated to community organizations.
OUTDOORS NIGHT WITH HUNTERS FOR THE HUNGRY
Attention hunters and non-hunters alike and all those who just love baseball and the outdoors! Make your plans to come out and be a part of Outdoors Night to benefit Hunters for the Hungry. You can enjoy a game of baseball all the while helping someone in need here in the Lynchburg area! The Hillcats will host the Salem Red Sox on Thursday August 2, 2018 at 6:30pm and the Hunters for the Hungry program will host a booth and an Outdoor Raffle to raise aware- ness and funding for this local based non profit organization. The Hunters for the Hungry program was founded in 1991 and is based in Big Island, VA. The program uses the resource found in the white-tailed deer and uses it to care for our most precious resource, our fellow man! They take deer donated by hunters, farmers, and munic- ipalities through herd control measures,
To learn more about the Hunters for the Hungry Program or to donate please visit www.h4hungry.org or call 1-800- 352-HUNT (4868) During the game, fans will have the chance to purchase raffle tickets for an array of outdoor and hunting related gear and apparel as well as Hillcats team autographed memorabilia. Plus, ANY fan that wears some article of camou- flage to the game will receive one dollar off admission. The Hillcats and Hunters for the Hungry expresses their deepest thanks and would like to recognize the following event sponsors: DICK’S Sporting Goods, Lynchburg, VA; McBride - Blackburn Opticians, Lynchburg, VA; Travel Lovers, Lynchburg, VA; Rockfab Kitchen and Bath, Roanoke, VA; Counts Realty / Lon- don Downs Golf Club, Forest, VA; Parker Bows, Staunton, VA; Green Top Sporting
and have them processed and then the meat is distributed statewide and throughout the Lynchburg and surrounding areas to pro-
Goods, Ashland, VA; Terry – Volk- wagon Subaru, Lynchburg, VA; West and Wanda Hicks, Evington, VA; Catron’s Tire Service, Bedford, VA; Harmony Day
“Since 1991, the Hunters for the Hungry program has processed and distributed over 6.6 million pounds of venison”
vide high protein low fat meals for needy men, women, and children. Since 1991, the Hunters for the Hungry program has processed and distributed over 6.6 mil- lion pounds of venison. This equates to over 26.6 million quarter pound servings going to the poor in our area and across Virginia! For every $1 the HFTH program raises or receives they can provide 4 ½ quarter-pound servings of high pro- tein low fat venison to someone who is hungry! The program averages providing over 1 million servings annually. They rely on both donations of deer and the funds necessary to cover the processing costs.
Support, Lynchburg, VA; Lynchburg Stained Glass, Evington, VA; Amherst- Monroe Ruritan Club, Madison Heights, VA; Joe Beans Express Expresso, Lynchburg, VA; Delegate Matt Farriss, Rustburg, VA; Fink’s Jewelers, Forest, VA; The Framery, Lynchburg, VA; W & W Novelty, Lynchburg, VA; Valley Fasten- ers, Lynchburg, VA; Timber Ridge Bap- tist Church Youth Group, Bedford, VA; Matt Knox & Family, Bedford, VA; and Gary Arrington & Family, Bedford, VA. This evening is also a Thirsty Thursday night with Game-long Happy hour spe- cials sponsored by 97.9 FM The Planet.
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While fans enjoy all that City Stadium has to offer throughout the season, there is a totally separate aspect of the Hillcats season: 70 road games. There are many moving parts that go into getting ready for a road trip. A bus itinerary has to be constructed, hotel reservations must be made, and per diem money must be ordered. Lynchburg makes their way throughout the Carolina League during the sum- mer, visiting Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland. The Hillcats shortest overnight trip is to Winston-Salem to visit the Dash, roughly a 2.5 hour trip. The longest trip is to see the Pelicans in Myrtle Beach, requiring a six hour bus ride. Here is a typical day for the Hillcats on the road: Depending on Lynchburg’s road op- ponent, the bus departs City Stadium anywhere from 7:30-9 a.m. the morn- ing of the first game. However, there is one exception. When the Hillcats play the Salem Red Sox, the team commutes back-and-forth due to the team’s close proximity to Haley Toyota Field. In this case, the bus usually leaves around 12:30 or 1 p.m, and will continue to make the 90-minute drive throughout the duration of the series. Almost everyone bring a pillow or blanket to try and get as much rest as possible. The bus is equipped with satellite TV and WiFi for those that choose to use it. If the trip is shorter than five hours, the bus typically makes the drive straight through to the destination. If not, the Hillcats bus driver of the past two years, Ray, will pull over at a rest stop or gas station for a 10-minute break. Upon arrival, the bus will usually stop at a mall for lunch. After getting a bite to eat, the bus will either take the club straight to the ballpark, or, if time allows, check into the hotel.
On non-travel days on the road, the bus will usually take everyone to the gym for a workout around 10 a.m. Some cities have quality lunch options within walking distance of the hotel. If not, the bus will once again make a stop at the mall for lunch. From there, everyone goes back to the hotel, with a bus to the field shortly thereafter. For a 7 p.m. game, the bus will make one trip to the ballpark at 2 p.m. and another at 3 p.m. After the game, the bus often takes two different trips back to the hotel. Most players will depart the ballpark about 45 minutes after the game ends, while the coaching and training staff takes the second journey around 90 minutes post-game. Lynchburg’s longest road trip of the season was a two-city, nine-game stretch in Wilmington and Frederick from June 25-July 3. The Hillcats travel with their entire roster and coaching staff, as well as the Athletic Trainer, Strength & Con- ditioning Coordinator, and the Radio Broadcaster. Life on the road typically allows the Hillcats players to get more rest than they receive at home. They arrive at the ballpark later, and oftentimes get some extra well-needed sleep. While long bus trips are not always glamor- ous, it is just another part of life in the Minor Leagues. Everybody on the bus hopes to one day trade their bus ride for a charter jet with five-star hotels and amenities.
Sandlot Sundays - During the 2018 season, the Lynchburg Hillcats are starting what is sure to be an instant fan favorite with “Sandlot Sundays”. Every Sunday, the Hillcats will don special Sandlot themed jerseys as a tribute to the 25th movie anniversary. The game worn Sandlot jerseys will be auctioned off on Sunday, August 19th (the last Sunday home game of the season). In addition, the Hillcats will also have their traditional Kids Run the Bases and Family Catch in the Outfield presented by MedExpress with a new twist. Fans will also be able to play wiffle ball on the field after all Sunday games. A special added bonus for Lynchburg area families. The Hillcats will continue their family value 4 for $40 Family 4 Packs for all Sunday games.
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*Benefits the Lynchburg Humane Society. Dogs must sit in Sections 1 or 4.
lynchburg hillcats roster As of 5/30/2017
Pitchers B/T Height Weight DOB
1 Columbus/Akron/LC/MV Mahoning Valley Lake County Lynchburg/Lake County Lynchburg/Lake County Lynchburg Lynchburg/Lake County Lynchburg/AZL Lake County Lake County/Mahoning Valley Akron/Lynchburg Lynchburg/Lake County Lynchburg/Lake County 2016 Club Lynchburg/Lake County Lynchburg/Lake County Akron/Lynchburg 2016 Club Akron/Lynchburg Columbus/Akron/Lynchburg Lynchburg/Lake County Lake County Lynchburg/LC/MV Lake County Lake County/Mahoning Valley Lynchburg/LC/MV Lynchburg/Lake County Lake County 2016 Club 2016 Club
34 Angulo, Argenis 22 Bieber, Shane 30 Chiang, Shao-Ching 23 DeMasi, Dominic 27 Esparza, Matt 20 Garcia, Justin 24 Hartson, Brock 15 Hendrix, Paul 36 Lovegrove, Kieran 45 McKenzie, Triston 31 Milbrath, Jordan 6 Robinson, Jared 44 Strode, Billy
13 Cervenka, Martin 7 Loopstok, Sicnarf 12 Salters, Daniel
6-1 5-11 6-3
8/3/92 4/26/93 2/5/93
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8 Calica, Andrew 10 Carter, Jodd 9 Marabell, Connor 4 Tom, Ka’ai
L/R R/R L/R L/R
6-1 5-10 6-1 5-9
190 175 195 185
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Promotional Schedule 2018
Lynchburg, Va. – The Lynchburg Hillcats, A-Advanced affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, unveiled their 2018 promotions schedule filled with excit- ing giveaways, entertainment, themed nights and fireworks to engage fans for the upcoming season. The jam-packed promotional schedule begins with Opening Day at Calvin Falwell Field on April 5. The game will feature a schedule magnet giveaway, as well as the first of 12 Thirsty Thurs- day’s during the 2018 season. A highlight of the Hillcats theme nights in 2018 will be four bobblehead give- away nights. The Hillcats will be giving away the bobbleheads as part of the Bobblehead “Love” Series this season. When put together, the four bobble- heads create a Love Sign, making them a memorable collectable throughout the year. The annual Star Wars Night is on May 4, along with the Southpaw Bobblehead giveaway. Greatefully Dead Christmas Night is on May 19th, presented by My Guitar Shop and Speakertree Records, which includes a pre-game cover band performance and post-game fireworks presented by Woodforest National Bank. Addition- ally, Lynchburg will wear Gratefully Dead Christmas-themed jerseys that fans will have the opportunity to bid on during the game. June 22 is Jurassic at the Park Night, plus the Francisco Mejia Bobblehead giveaway. The Hill- cats will also be giving away an Evan Gattis Bobblehead on You’re Killing Me Smalls Night on July 20. Margaritaville Night is coming to Calvin Falwell Field on August 10. Fans will enjoy a t-shirt giveaway as well as a pre-game cover band performance. August 17 features Mario Kart Night at the ballpark, and the Hillcats will be passing out a Tris- ton McKenzie Bobblehead.
The Hillcats will wear special jerseys that will be auctioned off for charity on two additional nights this season. April 28 is the Hillcats’ 10th annual Autism Aware- ness Night, and all of the proceeds from the jersey auction will benefit Growth Through Opportunity.. Breast Cancer Awareness Night is on June 8, with the jersey auction benefiting the Susan G. Komen foundation. Both nights will also feature a t-shirt giveaway in support of autism and breast cancer awareness. All of the player and coach’s jerseys will be bid on during the game and given to the winner following the game. The 2018 promotional schedule including giveaways, fireworks and daily value pro- motions is listed on the next few pages.
April 5 & 6 – 2018 Hillcats Magnet Schedule – (1,000) courtesy of Nadine Blakely April 27 – Team Photo – (1,000) courtesy of Clarke Printing April 28 – T-shirt for Autism Awareness – (1,000) courtesy of Physicians Treatment Center of Lynchburg May 4 – Bobblehead – Southpaw – (1000) courtesy of Pepsi May 18 – Paint the Park Purple Night: T-shirt for American Cancer Society – (1,000) courtesy of Gastroenterology Associates of Central Virginia June 8 – T-Shirt for Breast Cancer Awareness – (1,000) courtesy of Centra June 15 – Sunglasses – (1,000) courtesy of HighPeak Sportswear June 22 – Bobblehead – Francisco Mejia – (1,000) courtesy of Pepsi July 6 – Patriotic Cap – (1,000) courtesy of Foster Fuels & KD Country July 20 – Bobblehead – Evan Gattis – (1000) courtesy of Pepsi July 21 – Used Car Giveaway – Courtesy of D’NX Motor Sales August 10 – Hawaiian T-shirt – (1,000) courtesy of HighPeak Sportswear August 17 – Bobblehead – Triston McKenzie – (1,000) courtesy of Pepsi
April 7 - presented by Select Bank April 28th - presented by Physicians Treatment Center May 5 - presented by Assurance Financial May 19 - presented by Woodforest National Bank June 9 - presented by Central Virginia Federal Credit Union June 16 - presented by The Leaf Creative Salads and La Carreta June 23 - presented by Hillcats Baseball July 4 - presented by Kroger and Westover Dairy July 7 - presented by MemberOne Federal Credit Union July 21 - presented by D’NX Motor Sales
August 11 - presented by Food Lion August 18 - presented by Food Lion
2018 Daily Value Promos 2Fur Tuesday : Fans receive a $2 concessions deal that will be rotated each week throughout the season, as well as buy-one-get-one specials on tickets. Winning Wednesday : Any fan who attends the game will receive a free ticket to the following Wednesday’s home game, presented by WNRN. Thirsty Thursday : Fans will enjoy $2 beer specials on Miller Lite and Yuengling, presented by Blue Ridge Beverage. Fantastic Friday : The first 1,000 fans will receive a free giveaway. Sparkling Saturday : All fans will see a sparking post-game fireworks show. Sandlot Sunday : Kids Run the Bases and Family Catch in the Outfield post-game. Fans can also play whiffle ball in the outfield following the game, presented by MedExpress. For information about tickets for the 2018 season to watch the Hillcats defend their Carolina League Championship, fans can either call (434) 528-1144 or visit the Hillcats Box Office Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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hillcats ownership The Elmore Sports Group LTD.
David G. Elmore is one of the most respected owners in Minor League Baseball. He founded the Elmore Sports Group in 1969, a sports & entertainment organization com- prised of Minor League Baseball and hockey teams, as well as companies specializing in facility management, travel, concessions and special events. Dave is a member of the Pa- cific Coast League Board of Directors and currently serves on the league’s Executive Committee. D.G. Elmore , son of Dave Elmore, holds both legal and M.B.A. degrees. He is currently the chairman and owner of several different companies including Gant Travel Manage- ment and Cornerstone Information Systems. D.G. is on the Board of Directors for the non-pofit charity New Horizons Foundation and The Navigators, an international Christian organization.
Doug Elmore , son of Dave Elmore, is Managing Director of the Elmore Sports Group, Ltd and President & owner of the Diamond Concessions companies and Vail Service Stations, LLC. Elmore is also involved in real estate, having owned and developed hotels, industrial parks, condominiums and gas stations. Doug Elmore has a B.S. in Public Affairs from Indiana University and an MBA in Finance from Pepperdine University. Elmore and his wife, Julie, live in Chicago and have three grown children.
About Elmore Sports Group: For almost half a century, Elmore Sports Group has provided first-rate and affordable family entertainment, specializing in all things sports, including Minor League Baseball, the East Coast Hockey League, the Premier Develop- ment League, the National Premier Soccer League, and facility management, hospitality, special events & concessions. Elmore Sports Group invests in the community through premium events, outreach initiatives and monetary con- sideration. Elmore Sports Group also strongly believes community is the most important structure in society and it is their honor to contribute to strength- ening this fabric.
hillcats front office staff
Chris Jones President
Ronnie Roberts General Manager
Matt Klein Assistant General Manager
Kestrel Kerl Director of Promotions & Fan Engagement
Max Rettig Director of Sales
Ryan Henson Clubhouse Manager
Max Gun Broadcast & Media Relations Manager
Lincoln Evans Director of ticketing
Crystal Williamson Director of Finiance & Accounting
Mike Georgiadis Head Grounds- keeper
Jordan Speicher Concessions Manager
Collin Tyzinski Grounds Assistant
Matt Present Broadcast & Media Relations Assistant
SouthPaw Director of Fun
2018 coaching staff
Manager: Rouglas Odor Odor, 49, is entering his 18 th year coaching in the Indians or- ganization and his first with the Hillcats. The former shortstop
Pitching Coach: Tony Arnold Arnold, 58, is back in Lynchburg after serving as the pitching coach for the Hillcats in 2015. The former right-handed pitcher played collegiately at the University of
played in the minor leagues for the Indians from 1988-1994 and for the Milwaukee Brewers organization in 1995. Although he has not managed since 2008, Odor brings a decade of skipper experience to Lynch- burg. He led San Felipe in the Venezuelan Summer League for two seasons from 1999-2000, the Burlington Indians for four seasons from 2001-2004, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers for two years from 2005- 2006 and the Gulf Coast League Indians for two campaigns from 2007-2008. The Maracaibo, Venezuela native spent the past three seasons as the hitting coach for the Colum- bus Clippers, Cleveland’s Triple-A affili- ate.
Texas and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 10 th round (258 th overall) in the 1981 MLB Draft. The El Paso, Texas native played in parts of two major league seasons with the Orioles in 1986 and 1987. He appeared in 38 total games in relief, ac- cumulating a 0-2 record with a 5.06 ERA in 78.1 innings pitched. Arnold has coached in the Indians organization since 1992 and most recently was pitching coach of the Akron RubberDucks, Cleveland’s Double-
A affiliate, for the past two seasons.
Hitting Coach: Justin Toole Toole, 31, is in his first year on Lynchburg’s coaching staff and third in the Indians orga- nization. The former infielder
Bench Coach: Grant Fink Fink, 27, joins the Hillcats as bench coach for the first time in 2018, now in his sec- ond season as a coach in the
played in parts of seven minor league seasons with Cleveland from 2009-2015, reaching Triple-A Columbus. The Council Bluffs, Iowa native worked as the hitting coach last year for Single-A Lake County.
Indians organization. The former infielder was drafted by Cleveland in the 23 rd round of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Missouri Western State University. A native of St. Joseph, Mo., Fink played in parts of three minor league seasons for the Indians from 2013-2015, reaching Single-A Lake County. Fink was the bench coach last season for Rookie-Level Mahoning Valley.
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Southpaw was adopted as the team’s mascot from the Lynchburg Humane Society on January 9, 2017. The bright-colored cat with a big smile & youthful energy has already become a well-known entity with both kids and adults around Lynchburg. Sporting a backward cap and oversized sneakers, Southpaw has made numerous appearances at community and charity events in addition to visiting more than 40 local schools as part of the Hillcats "Hit The Books" reading program. Southpaw can be seen entertaining the crowd and distracting the opponent with his crazy antics.
Full Name: Southpaw Gender: Male Height: 5’10” Birthday: 8/24/2016 Resides: City Stadium
Adopted from the Lynchburg Humane Society on 1/9/17!
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In 2017, the Hillcats partnered with local youth sports leagues in the area to provide community events and fundraisers that were both financially beneficial to the Little Leagues, and a fun night out at the ballpark for players, coaches, parents, and friends alike. Each league picked a Hillcats game to be their “League Night.” The leagues all pre-sold tickets to their selected league night game and received a kickback from each ticket they sold. Players and coaches also participated in an on-field pre-game parade, where each team was recognized over the public-address system. Top selling individuals in each league had the opportunity to throw out first pitches before the game and the top selling team for each league as a collective got to participate in a field of dreams ceremony. As part of the youth sports league fundraising night program, Southpaw and the Hill- cats went to numerous youth league opening and closing ceremonies to promote the league nights and to expand community outreach. Youth Sports Fundraisers HAVE GREAT SUC CESS The Hillcats look to expand this program in 2018, working with several new area programs, in addition to ones from last season including: - April 28 th : Nelson County Dixie Youth Night - May 4 th : Goode Recreation Association Night - May 5 th : Lynchburg Little League Night - May 18 th : Madison Heights Dixie Youth Night - June 16 th : Forest Youth Athletic Association Night
- May 20 th : Appomattox Dixie Youth Day - June 9 th : Timberlake Dixie Youth Night
You can contact your local league or the Hillcats (email@example.com) to buy a special pre-sale only ticket to have a portion of the funds benefit your selected league. To sign up your league, please contact mrettig@lynchburg- hillcats.com for more information.
How a lifelong Indians fan blends her passion of baseball into language teaching Baseball’s not the o Hillcats players ar
Lynchburg, Va. - The Hillcats play- ers rely on their coaching staff to help them make improvements on the field every day. But for some of the players, who are learning English as a second language, they have another coach, off the field, and her name is Christina Wade. Wade, now in her third year with the Hillcats, grew up an Indians fan in Youngstown, Ohio. Her mother fol- lowed the Tribe so closely that when they played, she would have seven ra- dios on throughout the house, so that she could move from room to room and never miss a pitch. While Wade grew up only speaking English, her grandfather was born in Mexico, which sparked her interest in different cultures, and helping non- English speakers communicate. “I wanted to be a linguist,” said Wade. “I thought I’d focus on English as proper, or the analysis of language, but I found the application of it to be more interesting because it involves engag- ing with people more.” After traveling throughout Central and South America as well as China, Thailand, Azerbaijan, and Italy, she concluded that this path would help feed her hunger for learning about various cultures and people. She currently works with four Hillcats players: Li-Jen Chu, Leandro Linares, Jorma Rodriuez, and Emmanuel Tapia. “She’s a good teacher,” said Chu, a native of Taichung, Taiwan. “She’s very flexible about the work and she talks to me a lot about life.”
Wade’s goal is to foster positive and successful English conversations to give the players the confidence they need to continue speaking the lan- guage outside of the classroom. She focuses more on conversational English with the players as opposed to the grammar and writing that are stressed in a traditional classroom setting. “I focus mostly on working on my pro- nunciations and being able to express myself to my coaches,” said Tapia, who grew up Santo Domingo Centro in the Dominican Republic. Formerly the Director of Liberty Uni- versity’s English Institute, Wade has worked with students from all over the world. But until she was offered the op- portunity with the Hillcats, she hadn’t thought about baseball as an avenue for her work. “I was surprised to find how many play- ers from other countries are coming here and what an important thing it is for the Major League clubs to equip those players with English,” Wade said. She works with the players 12 times throughout the season. While it’s not a ton of time for teaching, she notes that Anna Bolton, who is the Indians Educational Coordi- instruction in the offseason. This will al- low them to have more regular instruc- tion when they will have greater time to digest the material. Wade speaks English and Spanish, as well as some Portuguese, Mandarin, and French. But she teaches in an im- mersion style, so she only needs to be fluent in the language she is teaching. nator, is working to get the players increased English
She’s very flexible about the work and she talks to me a lot about life
ly skill that some looking to improve
She says there is often a misconcep- tion that she needs to know all of the languages that her students do. “You don’t have to speak another language to teach English,” she said. “I just need to know enough about the language to anticipate what problems students are going to have in speaking English.” Examples of these hurdles are speech patterns which differ from one lan- guage to another. Wade also is quick to point out that the players she works with are in a unique setting. “They are really in a sub-culture, which is their team culture,” she said. “The ways that they are engaging is often not in English. Many of them live with non-English speakers, so they may be speaking Spanish on the field and at home.” “It’s hard, but I try to speak English when I’m around the team because when I go home I’m not speaking Eng- lish,” Tapia said. In addition to the videos that Wade provides her students, Chu has found another way to help himself work on his English when he is away from the field: Netflix. “I’m so excited to speak English and learn English that I downloaded Netflix to watch movies in English,” he said. “Then, if I don’t know what they’re saying I can always turn on the subtitles which helps me understand much faster.” Wade says that the players she works with are very motivated to learn Eng- lish, in part because there is evidence that proficiency in English is correlated to success at the Major League level.
She also has been especially impressed with the lengths that the Indians organization has gone to provide their players with English education. “I so appreciate the organization,” she said. “Every encounter that I have had with a member of the organization has been positive, has been professional, and I sincerely believe that they want to help the guys in multiple ways; not just succeed in the big leagues but succeed in life, and that’s encouraging to be a part of an organization that is really serving people well.”
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D’NX Motors Night On Saturday, July 21st, the Hillcats, in conjunction with their partners D’NX Motor Sales, are partnering to give one lucky fan in attendance the keys to their own used car. The used car giveaway will take place during the game on 7/21, with gates opening at 5 pm and first pitch scheduled for 6 pm. There will also be a postgame Sparkling Saturday Fireworks Show presented by D’NX Motors. To enter and be eligible to win the used car, fans must be 18 years of age or older, have a valid driver’s license and be in attendance at the game to enter. Fans will have to fill out an entry form upon en- tering the stadium to enter the contest. A fan will be selected at random via a special raffle ticket handed out at a table inside the stadium. The winner will be selected after the game ends that night and before the fireworks extravaganza begins. On Friday, August 10th, City Stadium will make some Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes to become a tropi- cal destination for Margaritaville Night with the Hillcats presented by High Peak Sportswear. The Hillcats will welcome a pre-game performance by renowned Jimmy Buffett cover band, the Sandbar Band. Live music begins and gates open at a special time of 5:00 PM. Of course, there will also be numerous food and adult beverage specials for all the parrotheads of Lynchburg (yes, including your Cheeseburgers In Lynch- burg Hillcat Paradise and Margaritas). In addition, the Hillcats have Presents to Send You if you are one of the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a Hillcats Hawaiian T-shirt. The t-shirt giveaway is presented by proud partners High Peak Sportswear. Margaritaville Night The car D’NX and the Hillcats are giving away is a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu LT. You
can follow the link here for more informa- tion and pictures of the giveaway car. Located on Timberlake Road, it is D’NX Motor Sales’ passion to offer the best quality vehicles Call (434) 237-2500 or visit dnxmotorsales.com for more infor- mation about their inventory. You can purchase tickets for the July 21st game now by clicking here.
The Hillcats and D’NX Motors hope to see you at the ballpark on July 21st at 5:00 PM.
We would certainly Miss You So Badly if you did not attend, so be sure to get down to the stadium early to receive your giveaway t-shirt and enjoy live music and your own tropical oasis without having to leave the city. Tickets for Friday, August 10th are on sale now by clicking here.
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Prospects to watch
Outfielder Mitch Longo batted .361 with four home runs and 25 RBI in 55 games for the Captains before injuries robbed him of a full 2017 campaign. Longo was activated from the disabled list on August 31 when he made his debut with the Hillcats, and played in 5 games while going 9-for-16 at the plate. Cleveland’s 14th round pick in 2016 has been an everyday player so far this season for Lynchburg. Longo has batted a .284, while clubbing four home runs to go along with 23 RBI throughout the first three months of the year. He also leads the team with 20 multi-hit games. Third baseman Nolan Jones finished the 2017 season on a tear. The 19-year-old hit .371 with three home runs and 18 RBI in August for the Short-Season Mahoning Valley Scrappers. In 62 games, he batted .317 overall with four homers and 33 RBI. Jones, a 2nd round pick by the Tribe in 2016, is ranked by MLB.com as the Indians No. 5 prospect. Although he has just two minor league seasons under his belt, it’s possible that Jones could find himself in a Hillcats uniform at some point in 2018. Right-hander Eli Morgan was promoted to Lynchburg in mid-May, and has impressed in his first month and a half in a Hillcats uniform. Morgan was drafted by Cleveland in the 8th Round of the 2017 draft out of the University of Gonzaga. Prior to his promotion, Morgan began the 2018 campaign in Lake County, where he went 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA through eight starts. Through his first seven starts with the Hillcats, the Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. native has gone 4-2 with a 2.45 ERA. He is ranked by Baseball America as the Cleveland Indians 28th-best prospect. The publication also ranked him as having the “best changeup” of any pitcher throughout the Indians farm system. Shortstop Ernie Clement is ranked as the No. 24 prospect in Cleveland’s system.After playing his college ball up the road at the University of Virginia, Clement made his return to The Commonwealth on June 23, making his Adv.-A debut for Lynchburg. He is 41-for-121 overall (.338 avg), and reached base safely in his first 20 games, from 6/24-7/14. The on-base streak for Clement was the second longest for a Hillcat this season, trailing only Mitch Longo who reached in 26 consecutive to begin the year. Clement went 5-for-5 in the win against Frederick July 2, marking the first time a Hillcats player has picked up five hits in a game this season. Clement did not strike out in his first 41 at-bats. The short stop has hit safely in 24 of his first 31 games, and has tallied 12 multi-hit games. He began August on the DL with an injury. A variety of Indians prospects who made some noise throughout Cleveland’s other affiliates last season figure to be in the Hillcats plans in 2018.