Krieger homers in 9-1 Lynchburg win at Carolina

lynchburg hillcatsTyler Krieger hit his first home run as a Hillcat, and Luis Lugo tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings to help Lynchburg close out the month of June with a convincing 9-1 victory at Five County Stadium Thursday night.

Luis Lugo (4-2) retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced and did not allow more than one baserunner in any inning until the seventh. He only surrendered four hits and two walks while striking out two in 6 2/3. Jordan Milbrath inherited a pair of runners in the seventh and struck out the first batter he faced to end the frame. He fanned a pair as part of 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Matt Whitehouse allowed a run in the ninth on a combination of three walks and a fielder’s choice. Caleb Beech took the loss after giving up six runs, five earned, on nine hits in 5 2/3 frames.

Eight of the nine Hillcats in the lineup had a base hit, three different Hillcats drove in two runs, and four players scored multiple runs in the contest. Francisco Mejia extended his hitting streak to 26 games with a double in the second inning.

Lynchburg broke through in the third after three straight hits by Alex Monsalve, Paul Hendrix and Greg Allen loaded the bases with nobody out. After a fielder’s choice threw out Monsalve at the plate, Anthony Santander hit a possible inning-ending double-play ball to short, but the shortstop booted it. Two runs scored on the miscue, and the Hillcats capitalized to score two more in the stanza. Bobby Bradley had an RBI single, and Mejia brought home a run on an RBI groundout to make it 4-0 at the end of the third.

In the fourth, Hendrix singled, and Tyler Krieger belted a two-run homer over the right-field fence to push the score to 6-0. Lynchburg tacked on three more runs in the ninth inning on only one hit. Bobby Bradley picked up his league-leading 60th RBI of the season when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Lynchburg came within one out of pitching its ninth shutout of the year…The Hillcats have blanked every team in the Carolina League except the Carolina Mudcats and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans…The Hillcats finished the month of June batting .277 with 23 home runs in 26 games…Greg Allen made back-to-back diving catches in center field in the third inning to take away a pair of extra-base hits.

Lynchburg returns to Five County Stadium to play Carolina Friday night at 7 p.m. Mitch Brown (2-6, 5.37) will start for the Hillcats against right-hander Ryan Clark (0-9, 5.83). Fans can listen to the action on 93.3 FM and 1320 AM as well as, beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show at 6:45 p.m.

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