Chiang wins third straight for Lynchburg

For the second time in three games, the Lynchburg Hillcats posted double-digit runs and hits to cruise to an 11-3 victory against Myrtle Beach in front of an energetic crowd at City Stadium Saturday night. Shao-Ching Chiang pitched seven innings for his third straight outing and improved to 3-1 as a result.

lynchburg hillcatsMyrtle Beach scored the initial run of the game in the first, but Jodd Carter belted a home run to left field in the second inning to tie the game, 1-all. Lynchburg surged ahead with a two-run third frame and led the rest of the night. Willi Castro had a leadoff single in the third and scored on an RBI double by Sam Haggerty. On the first pitch to Ka’ai Tom, Haggerty stole third base, which enabled Tom to bring him home with a groundout to short, stretching the lead to 3-1.

Lynchburg used a three-run fifth to take a commanding 6-1 advantage. Ka’ai Tom, Martin Cervenka and Andrew Calica all singled consecutively to open the stanza. Calica’s base hit drove in Tom, and Cervenka scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-1.Yonathan Mendoza capped off the scoring for the frame with an RBI groundout to plate Calica.

Myrtle Beach cut it to 6-3 in the sixth with a two-run triple off the bat of Daniel Spingola, but the Pelicans never came any closer.Chiang (3-1, 1.71) struck out four while holding the Pelicans to three runs on six hits and no walks in seven innings. Leandro Linares and Kieran Lovegrove each pitched a scoreless frame out of the bullpen to close out the victory. Justin Steele (1-2, 3.74) took the loss after Lynchburg tagged him for six runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings.

The Hillcats also roughed up the Pelicans bullpen with five runs over their final three turns at bat. Haggerty tripled in the sixth and scored on a heads-up baserunning play when he tagged up on a popup in foul territory to the third baseman Jesse Hodges, who had to make the catch with his back to the field.

Lynchburg added four more in the seventh. Calica tripled down the right-field line to initiate the big inning. Carter knocked him in with a single. Daniel Salters singled, and Castro doubled later in the seventh to keep the rally going. Carter, Mendoza andSalters all scored to stretch the margin to 11-3.

The Hillcats have now recorded 30 runs and 39 hits over the past three games, improving to 10-10 overall for the season. Lynchburg snapped the Pelicans’ five-game winning streak with the win.

Lynchburg hosts Myrtle Beach for the final time of the regular season Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Matt Esparza (1-2, 3.60) will start for Lynchburg against Oscar De La Cruz (1-2, 3.26). It’s a Family Funday Sunday presented by ABC 13, which means Family 4-packs are available to receive four tickets and four hot dog meal combos for only $40. Plus, fans can play catch in the outfield after the game, and kids can run the bases as well. For those who can’t make it, the game can be heard live at with coverage beginning at 1:50.

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