Lynchburg Hillcats sweep Carolina

lynchburg hillcatsAfter Wednesday’s game was suspended in the third inning with the score tied, 0-0, Lynchburg scored three runs once the game resumed and went on to win 5-1 in the Advanced-A debut of left-handed pitcher Thomas Pannone. The Hillcats also claimed a 10-7 result in the nightcap thanks in part to a career-high five RBIs from Paul Hendrix.

Lynchburg wasted no time pushing three runs across in the top of the third once action resumed Thursday night. Mark Mathiasdoubled, and Anthony Santander was hit by a pitch. That allowed Bobby Bradley and Yu-Cheng Chang to hit back-to-back RBI singles. With two outs, Tyler Krieger hit an RBI double to stretch the margin to 3-0.

Santander hit his 11th home run of the year in the fifth inning, a solo shot to make it 4-0. Luigi Rodriguez tripled to center field to lead off the ninth inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mathias for the final Hillcats run of the game.

Thomas Pannone, who joined the Hillcats from Lake County, held Carolina to one run on five hits in 5 1/3 innings to earn the victory. He struck out the side in the fourth for all three of his punchouts. Trevor Frank entered with the bases loaded in the eighth and induced an inning-ending double play to end the threat. He worked a perfect ninth to receive his eighth save in nine chances this year.

Lynchburg built an early 8-0 by scoring in four consecutive innings in the second contest. Bradley began the onslaught with a single. Luigi Rodriguez singled to move Bradley to third and then stole second base for his fourth steal in five tries since joining the team. Martin Cervenka walked to load the bases for Paul Hendrix, who cleared the bases with a three-run double. Hendrixlater scored on an error.

Chang doubled in the fourth to score Krieger, who had singled and stole a base earlier in the frame. That made it 5-0 heading into the fourth.

With one out, Taylor Murphy reached on a base hit. Hendrix hit an opposite-field home run to right field to give Lynchburg a 7-0 advantage and give himself a career-high five RBIs on two at-bats in the game. Chang doubled again in the fifth and came home on an RBI double by Cervenka two batters later.

Chang wasn’t done, as he had an RBI triple in the seventh inning to plate Bradley and proceeded to score on a base hit byRodriguez. The 20-year-old prospect finished the game 3-4 with two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored.

Jordan Milbrath (3-3) earned the win by going two scoreless innings out of the bullpen in a contest pitched exclusively by relievers. Matt Whitehouse earned his first save as a Hillcat by recording the last out with the bases loaded in the final inning to preserve the game.

Francisco Mejia recorded a single in the sixth inning of the first game to improve his hitting streak to 34 straight dating back to Lake County…Lynchburg has won nine consecutive games against Carolina…The Hillcats are a season-best 24 games above .500 with an overall record of 57-33.

Lynchburg plays its final game of the season at Five County Stadium Friday at 7 p.m. Sean Brady (8-3, 4.55) will take the mound for the Hillcats against Matt Withrow (5-4, 3.52). Fans can listen to the action on 93.3 FM and 1320 AM as well as www.lynchburg-hillcats.com, beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show at 6:45 p.m.

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