Graham shuts down Pelicans, 4-1
The Hillcats took the final game of three-game set with the Pelicans, 4-1. The star of the game was Hillcats’ righty J.R. Graham. Going 8.0 stellar innings, Graham shut down the Pelicans to give the Hillcats their second win in a row and the series victory.
The ‘Cats took the lead first for the first time in the series early Sunday afternoon. Matt Lipka started the top of the first off by legging out an infield single and stealing second base. With one out, Tommy La Stella singled home Lipka to take the early lead.
Myrtle Beach answered back in the top of the third with a run of their own. The inning started slow, but with two outs, Odubel Herrera ripped a double to the left-center field gap. The next batter, Jared Hoying, hit a soft-liner back up the middle. Herrera beat the throw home with a nice hook slide and tied the game at 1-1
La Stella continued his hot hitting in the second with a double. The next batter would be retired, but Edward Salcedo would bail the offense out with a low liner to Herrera at short that was thrown away. La Stella scored to regain the lead.
It was 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Edward Salcedo lined a lead-off single. Chris Garcia followed with a single of his own, however, Josh Richmond mishandled the ball and Sacledo took third base on Richmond’s first error of the season. Two outs followed before Kyle Rose came to the plate. Rose liked the first pitch he saw and hit a chopper over to third. Third baseman Christian Villaneuva jumped and secured it, but bobbled the transfer and never threw the ball. Rose reached first, Salcedo scored to give the ‘Cats a 3-1 lead. The inning would end just one batter later.
Lynchburg added another insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. A lead-off walk for Nick Ahmed began the inning. Ahmed then added his 11th stolen bag–and second of the day–to get himself in scoring position. After a pop-out by La Stella, Tim Smith belted his second double in as many days with one out to make it 4-1 and end the scoring for both teams.
The ninth was interesting with Hillcats’ pitcher Juan Jamie on the bump. Jamie walked the first two batters and with one out, Santiago Chirino blasted a Jamie fastball down the left field line that hooked foul by inches. Jamie was able to escape without allowing the run for the first time in his last four appearances.
J.R. Graham (4-0) went 8.0 strong innings, allowing only one run, which was earned, and striking out four. Kyle Hendricks (0-4) took the loss. He went 6.0 innings, scattering 10 hits and allowing three runs. However, only one was earned. He also fanned three.
Tomorrow is a rare off day for the Hillcats. They return to action Tuesday in Wilmington to take on the Blue Rocks for the first time this season.The projected starters are Aaron Northcraft (3-1, 2.25) for the ‘Cats. Tyler Sample (0-3, 5.11) is expected to start for the Blue Rocks. You don’t have to miss any of the action; tune in and listen live to all the action on 105.5 FM KD Country and online at lynchburg-hillcats.com starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show coming on the air at 6:10pm with Erik Wilson.