Chiang’s strong start leads to 5-3 Lynchburg win

Shao-Ching Chiang held Myrtle Beach to one unearned run on four hits in seven innings, and Sicnarf Loopstok homered to highlight the offense in a 5-3 Hillcats win at Field Saturday night.

The right-hander from Taiwan struck out four and did not walk anyone in his second start at the Advanced-A level. The only run against him came on an unusual series of events that began with a bobbled groundball at shortstop that allowed Bryant Flete to reach with two outs in the second. He advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw and moved to third on a wild pitch. A base hit to right field by Jesse Hodges drove him in, making the score 1-1 at the time.

Lynchburg jumped on Myrtle Beach’s starting pitcher early to score the first run of the game. Sam Haggerty hit a fly ball to the wall in center field to open the game with a triple. He came home one batter later on a groundout to second base off the bat of Ka’ai Tom.

With the game tied at 1-all in the fourth, Claudio Bautista walked with one out, and Anthony Miller smacked a double to center field to give the Hillcats a 2-1 lead. Haggerty picked up a two-out RBI when he singled to bring in Miller.

Leading 3-1 entering the fifth, Sicnarf Loopstok lined a baseball over the left field fence for his first home run of the season. The Hillcats plated their final run in the seventh when Tom walked, stole second base, and scored on a two-out single by Andrew Calica.

The Pelicans threatened in the ninth when the first three batters reached, capped off by a two-run double by Hodges that knocked in Tyler Alamo and Flete. Argenis Angulo struck out three of the next four batters to end the game and earn his first save as a Hillcat.

Lynchburg wraps up its four-game series at Myrtle Beach Sunday night at 6:05 p.m. Matt Esparza (0-2, 6.75) will start for the ‘Cats against Adbert Alzolay (1-0, 4.82). Fans can listen to the game live at or on the TuneIn radio app, beginning at 6 p.m.