Lynchburg Hillcats drop middle game to Carolina Mudcats

Lynchburg HillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats dropped the middle game of the three-game set against the Carolina Mudcats on Saturday night, falling 5-3.

The Hillcats (58-68, 26-33) drop to a season-high 10 games under .500 in the defeat against Carolina (64-66, 25-36).

The Mudcats struck first in the very first inning. Brice Turang led off the frame with a double. With two out, Payton Henry doubled home Turang to give Carolina an early 1-0 lead.

The Brewers affiliate tacked on another run in the third. Turang singled and two batters later, Mario Feliciano doubled him home for a 2-0 Muddies lead.

Lynchburg trimmed into the deficit with a run in the third. The Hillcats loaded the bases after Mitch Reeves and Gavin Collins walked, and Will Benson reached on a bunt single. Jonathan Laureano hit a sacrifice fly to score Reeves, bringing Lynchburg within a 2-1 score.

In the sixth, the Mudcats created separation again with a two-run frame. Carolina loaded the bases on singles from Henry and Eddie Silva, and a Rob Henry walk. Next up was Leugim Castillo, who hit a ground ball to Laureano at third, but Laureano’s throw home to get the force was wide of the plate for an error, allowing Henry to score. With the bases reloaded, Zach Clark then bounced into a double play, plating Silva for a 4-1 lead.

In the seventh, the Hillcats made it a one-run contest again with a pair of runs. Tyler Freeman and Collins singled to put two aboard. With two out, Benson connected on an RBI single to score Freeman and Laureano singled home Collins to tighten up the game at 4-3.

The Muddies added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Turang doubled to lead off the inning and moved to third on a bunt single from Wes Rogers. Feliciano plated Turang on a fielder’s choice RBI, capping the scoring at 5-3.

Kirk McCarty (Loss, 3-6) started for Lynchburg and allowed two earned runs on five hits over five innings. He struck out seven and walked two. Yapson Gomez gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits in two innings and Jonathan Teaney tossed a scoreless frame.

Aaron Ashby started for Carolina and gave up a run on four hits in 2.2 frames. Nelson Hernandez (Win, 11-9) worked five innings and allowed two earned runs, while Phil Bickford (Save, 1) earned his first career save with a scoreless ninth.

Lynchburg’s elimination number is trimmed to three with Saturday’s loss.

The Hillcats conclude their series and 2019 regular season road slate against Carolina on Sunday in series finale. Right-hander Juan Mota (2-3, 3.98) will start for Lynchburg against Mudcats righty Christian Taugner (5-9, 5.33). First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Five County Stadium.

Max Gun will be on the air at 1:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.

The Hillcats return home on Monday, August 26 to begin the final homestand of the season when the Wilmington Blue Rocks and Winston-Salem Dash visit City Stadium. Homestand highlights include Kids Eat Free Tuesday, Winning Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fantastic Friday, Sparkling Saturday, and Sandlot Sunday. Friday’s game will be Margaritaville Night at City Stadium with a Jimmy Buffett cover band and an Aloha Jersey Auction as well as a sunglasses giveaway courtesy of High Peak Sportswear. Saturday’s game will have the final fireworks show of the season at City Stadium.

For tickets or more information, visit, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.

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