Lynchburg Hillcats shut out by Pelicans

lynchburg hillcatsThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans got the run scoring started early as they put up a five-run first frame and never looked back, defeating the Lynchburg Hillcats, 9-0 on Thursday night in the series opener at City Stadium.

The Hillcats (9-6) got shut out for the third time this season as Pelicans (4-11) starter Oscar De La Cruz (Win, 1-0) had Lynchburg’s number from the get-go.

Juan Hillman (Loss, 1-2) drew the start for Lynchburg on Thursday, and things didn’t go as planned for the left-hander. Myrtle Beach second baseman Carlos Sepulveda got the hit parade started with a single in the first inning. He was followed up by a Miguel Amaya double and a Luke Reynolds walk. Cam Balego plated the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly, and Tyler Payne added another run to the ledger when he reached on an error by third baseman Nolan Jones. Kevonte Mitchell busted the door open with a three-run home run to cap off the scoring in the first inning.

On the other side, Lynchburg had trouble getting the bats going against De La Cruz, who was making his first rehab start of the season. The right-hander, who is a member of the Chicago Cubs’ 40-man roster, flew through five scoreless frames against the Hillcats batters.

But the Pelicans continued to pile on in the later innings. In the second, Hillman gave up a leadoff triple to left fielder Zach Davis. He later scored on an RBI single from Sepulveda to give the Pelicans a 6-0 lead.

Hillman tossed a couple of scoreless frames before giving up a solo shot to Tyler Payne in the fifth inning, the second Myrtle Beach home run of the game.

The Pelicans tacked on another run in the seventh inning, when first baseman Cam Balego parked a home run over the left field fence for just the second long ball of his career and his first since he was in the Arizona League in 2017.

The offense continued to flow for Myrtle Beach in the eighth inning, with Jhonny Bethencourt reaching on a leadoff double and coming around on a Sepulveda RBI single.

Hillman completed five innings for the Hillcats, allowing seven runs (three earned) on nine hits while striking out two batters. Anderson Polanco got through two and two thirds while allowing two earned runs on four hits. Robert Broom tossed the last inning and a third, striking out two batters without allowing a baserunner.

De La Cruz tossed five scoreless frames while striking out three batters in the win for Myrtle Beach. Tyler Peyton followed up his performance with two scoreless innings, and Ben Hecht shut the door with two frames of scoreless baseball.

The Hillcats will continue their four-game series against the Pelicans when they take the field on Friday evening. The Hillcats will send right-hander Justin Garza (1-2, 8.10), to the mound. He will face the Pelicans for the second time this season. The Pelicans will counter with right-handed starter Paul Richan (1-0, 1.04), who will face the Hillcats for the second time this year. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

Tomorrow will be Fantastic Friday, which brings the first of 26 fireworks shows for the Hillcats at City Stadium. All fans in attendance will get to enjoy a fantastic post-game fireworks show, presented by Select Bank.

Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air beginning at 5:50 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.

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

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