Lynchburg Hillcats earn doubleheader split
The Hillcats (3-1, 32-39) took three of four games from the Pelicans (1-3, 35-39) to open the second half of play.
Myrtle Beach jumped on the board in the first inning and never looked back. D.J. Wilson doubled to lead off the game, and then the Pelicans loaded the bases after Aramis Ademan singled and Jhonny Pereda walked. After Wladimir Galindo struck out, P.J. Higgins lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Wilson and giving Myrtle Beach a 1-0 lead.
The Birds added two more runs in the third to grab a 3-0 advantage. With one out, Pereda singled and Galindo walked, setting up Higgins, who laced a two-run double to the left-center field gap.
In the sixth, Andruw Monasterio walked and scored on a Connor Myers RBI double. Wilson eventually brought home Myers with a RBI groundout.
The Hillcats got on the board in the sixth. With two on, Li-Jen Chu blasted an opposite field three-run home run, his third of the season, to pull Lynchburg to within two, at 5-3.
The comeback bid fell short in the seventh inning when Conner Capel flew out with the tying runs on base.
Justin Garza (Loss, 3-5) logged three innings and allowed three runs on four hits, walking three. Billy Strode allowed a pair of runs in three innings of work and Leandro Linares fired a scoreless inning in his 2018 Hillcats debut.
Pelicans starter Erich Uelman (Win, 1-0) allowed three runs on five hits in 5.1 innings in his Carolina League debut. Erick Leal (Save, 1) pitched 1.2 scoreless innings to seal the win.
Lynchburg scored an early run in the first inning. Ernie Clement singled to start the inning and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt from Jodd Carter. Later in the frame, Li-Jen Chu poked an RBI single to center field, scoring Clement to give the Hillcats a 1-0 lead.
The Hillcats added another run in the fourth. Jorma Rodriguez led off the inning with a bunt single, while Logan Ice and Clement walked to load the bases. Carter then worked a bases-loaded walk to stretch the lead to 2-0.
In the fifth inning, the home team put the game out of reach by scoring six runs. With runners at the corners with one out, Anthony Miller grooved an RBI single. Two batters later, Alexis Pantoja ripped an RBI single of his own and Clement continued his big day with a two-run single, pushing the Hillcats in front 6-0. The lead became 8-0 when Carter blasted a two-run home run, his fourth of the season.
The six-run frame matched a season-high for Lynchburg. Clement finished the day by going a combined 5-for-7 with a walk and three runs scored in both games of the double-header. Every Hillcats starter reached base in the night cap.
Anderson Polanco made a spot start and went a season-high four innings. He struck out three, allowed just two hits and did not allow a run. Ben Krauth (Win, 2-1) fired three shutout innings and struck out five.
Birds starter Casey Bloomquist (Loss 2-1) surrendered two earned runs on four hits in 3.1 innings. Tyler Peyton was touched for five earned runs in 1.1 innings and Jhon Romero allowed a run in 1.1 frames.
On Monday, the Hillcats hit the road for a season-high nine-game road trip, beginning with a five-game series in Wilmington. Lynchburg will sent left-hander Sam Hentges (4-5, 3.21) to the hill against Blue Rocks lefty Daniel Tillo (2-1, 3.21). First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. at Frawley Stadium.
Max Gun will be on the air beginning at 6:20 p.m. with the Hillcats pregame show, on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.
For tickets and more information visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, the City Stadium box office, or call 434-528-1144.