Hillcats avoid sweep with 7-4 win
Triston McKenzie carried a no-hitter through six innings, and Lynchburg broke the game open with a five-run fifth to build a 7-0 lead and hang on for a 7-4 victory at Frawley Stadium Saturday night.
The Hillcats wasted no time claiming a lead in the series finale. Ka’ai Tom reached on an infield single as the first batter of the game. Anderw Calica singled, and Martin Cervenka doubled to drive them both in for a 2-0 Hillcats advantage.
Lynchburg plated five runs on six hits in the fifth inning to push the margin to 7-0. The first five batters all reached on hits, which included an RBI double by Gavin Collins and an RBI triple by Cervenka. Cervenka’s three-bagger brought him within a home run of the cycle. Sicnarf Loopstok knocked in Cervenka with a single to right field.
With runners on the corners, Loopstok stole home after Connor Marabell drew a throw while stealing second base. Later in the frame, the Hillcats executed another double steal when Tom and Willi Castro swiped second and third, respectively.
Six different Hillcats had multi-hit effforts, led by Cervenka’s 3-5 day at the plate with three RBIs, which tied his career high in hits. Castro, Calica, Collins, Loopstok and Jodd Carter all had two-hit performances while Calica was the only Hillcat to score twice in the contest.
On the mound, McKenzie (8-4) only surrendered two walks in his first six innings. He allowed two runs on three hits in the seventh before ending his night with nine strikeouts and a pair of walks. Billy Strode and Leandro Linares each gave up a run in one relief inning apiece to complete the game.
Lynchburg returns home for a three-game series against the Winston-Salem Dash Sunday at 5 p.m. Brock Hartson (4-4, 3.01) will start for the Hillcats. Fans can listen to the game live at lynchburg-hillcats.com beginning at 4:50.