Hillcats dip below .500 on the season with Tuesday loss
The Hillcats (11-9, 43-44) are swept for just the second time this year as the Mudcats (12-8, 51-38) win their sixth consecutive ballgame.
Carolina started the scoring with a four-run second inning. Mario Feliciano walked and Rob Henry reached on a fielder’s choice to put two on with none out. That brought up Pat McInerney, who belted a three-run shot for a 3-0 Muddies lead. Carolina then went back-to-back, as Devin Hairston belted his first of the year for a 4-0 edge.
Lynchburg cut the deficit to 4-1 in the third on a Tyler Freeman RBI double.
The Brewers affiliate ran way with the game with an eight-run third inning when they sent 13 hitters to the plate. Payton Henry blasted a three-run home run, while Hairston delivered a two-run triple. Wes Rogers added an RBI double. Hitting for the second time in the inning, Tristin Lutz hit a sacrifice fly to bring home another run, and the final run of the frame scored on a bases-loaded walk.
The eight runs allowed in a single inning are the most given up by the Hillcats this season.
Hillcats starter Juan Hillman (Loss, 3-9) was chased in the midst of Carolina’s big fourth inning. The lefty lasted 2.1 frames, allowing a season-high 10 earned runs on eight hits. Riley Echols walked four and surrendered two runs on three hits in 1.2 innings. Jonathan Teaney gave up a run in 1.1 innings of work, while Yapson Gomez recorded four outs without issue. Jodd Carter, an outfielder, was summoned to pitch 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Lynchburg’s second run came in the fourth inning. Gavin Collins led off with a single and moved to third base on a single from Wilbis Santiago. Connor Smith drove home Collins with an infield single to make the score 12-2.
Carolina added another run in the fifth to cap the scoring at 13-2. Ryan Aguilar led off with a single and eventually scored on a run-scoring single from McInerney.
Matt Hardy started for the Mudcats and logged four innings. He allowed two earned runs on seen hits, striking out four. Phil Bickford (Win, 1-0) worked three scoreless frames, while J.T. Hintzen picked up the final six outs without issue.
The Hillcats will start the second leg of their road trip on Wednesday when they take on the Down East Wood Ducks, A-Adv. affiliate of the Texas Rangers, in the opener of a three-game series. Left-hander Sal Mendez (5-0, 2.22) will start for Down East. Lynchburg has not yet announced a starter. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Grainger Stadium.
Max Gun will be on the air at 6:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
The Hillcats will return to City Stadium on July 17 for a six-game home stand against Fayetteville and Frederick. Homestand highlights include Winning Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fantastic Friday, Sparkling Saturday, and Sandlot Sunday. Friday’s post-game fireworks show will be presented by Pepsi while Saturday’s will be presented by Kona Ice.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.