Four-run sixth lifts Mudcats past Hillcats in finale
Looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Carolina Mudcats in the middle game of the series, the Lynchburg Hillcats fell behind in the middle innings and couldn’t mount the comeback as Carolina won, 7-2.
Lynchburg (25-29, 57-64) fails to earn a series win over the Mudcats (23-33, 62-63) in its fourth try this year.
The Hillcats jumped out to a lead in the second inning. Jason Rodriguez continued his hot play with a single to get himself aboard. After Will Benson drew a walk, Jonathan Laureano singled to plate Rodríguez to put Lynchburg up 1-0.
But the Carolina bats got hot in the fourth. The inning started with a walk by Wes Rogers and a double by Mario Feliciano to put two runners in scoring position. Payton Henry singled to score Rogers, and Pat McInerney’s single plated Feliciano. Eddie Silva hit a single of his own, scoring Henry. McInerney also scored on the play when Jodd Carter committed an error in center field. Rob Henry slugged a triple to push Silva home, and a single by Trever Morrison scored Henry from third. By the time the inning came to a close, Carolina had a 6-1 edge.
Devin Hairston led off the seventh with a single for Carolina. Two batters later, Payton Henry came through again with an RBI double to move the Mudcats lead to 7-1.
The Hillcats threatened in the bottom of the eighth. Mitch Reeves got on base with a single and scored on a double by Rodríguez, but that was all the Hillcats could muster in the game.
Kirk McCarty (Loss, 3-5) was roughed up, giving up six earned runs on six hits over 3.1 innings of work. He retired the first nine hitters he faced before only recording one out in the fourth inning, Aaron Pinto pitched well in relief, tossing 2.2 scoreless frames. Manuel Alvarez gave up a run in an inning of work while Skylar Arias spun a scoreless inning in his Carolina League debut. Jonathan Teaney struck out the side in a perfect ninth inning.
Aaron Ashby was chased early in his start for the Mudcats, giving up an earned run over 1.2 frames. Scott Sunitsch (Win, 1-0) tossed 4.1 blank frames in his Carolina League debut. Chad Whitmer was tagged with a run over two innings while Robbie Hitt fired a scoreless ninth.
The Hillcats have the day off on Monday but return to action on Tuesday when the Winston-Salem Dash comes to town. Lynchburg will send righty Juan Mota (2-2, 4.05) to the mound. The Dash have not yet announced their starter for the game. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 6:20 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
Homestand highlights include Kids Eat Free Tuesday, Winning Wednesday and Thirsty Thursday with $2 specials on Miller Lite and Yuengling.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.