Lynchburg Hillcats swept in Saturday twinbill

lynchburg hillcatsThe Lynchburg Hillcats were swept in a double-header by the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Saturday night at City Stadium.

Lynchburg (9-8) dropped the first game to the Pelicans (6-11), 4-2, and lost the second game of the twin bill, 4-1.

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans socked two home runs in the first game of the double-header.

In game two, a strong start by Lynchburg Hillcats starter Nick Gallagher was overshadowed by the pitching performances of Javier Assad and Erling Moreno.

GAME ONE

Justin Garza (Loss, 1-3) was looking to rebound after allowing more than five runs in back-to-back starts for the first time in his career. He cruised through three frames, striking out five batters while facing the minimum before the Pelicans bats woke up.

In the top of the fourth inning, Jimmy Herron hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot to give Myrtle Beach the 1-0 advantage. They would add onto their total when Cam Balego singled in Luke Reynolds from second base, pushing the Pelicans’ lead to 2-0.

In the fifth inning, Garza allowed a leadoff walk to D.J. Wilson and hit Kevonte Mitchell with a pitch. A sacrifice bunt by Yeiler Peguero advanced the runners into scoring position. Herron plated Wilson on a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 3-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, Mike Rivera doubled to get himself into scoring position. Two batters later, Tyler Friis roped a line drive down the right field line that was initially called a foul ball, but was later ruled fair, giving Friis a ground-rule RBI double to get Lynchburg on the board and trimming the deficit to 3-1.

Miguel Amaya hit the fifth home run of the series for the Pelicans when he blasted a solo shot to left field in the top of the sixth inning, giving Myrtle Beach a 4-1 advantage.

The Hillcats battled in the next two innings. In the bottom of the seventh, Luke Wakamatsu walked and Nolan Jones singled him in to cut the deficit to two runs. Lynchburg would get the tying runs on base but failed to plate them, and Myrtle Beach came away with the 4-2 win.

Garza ended the night with 4.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits while striking out five. Jonathan Teaney tossed an inning and a third while allowing one run, and Jared Robinson threw an inning and a third of scoreless baseball.

Paul Richan (Win, 2-0) threw five innings while allowing one run with three strikeouts. Garrett Kelly followed him up with an inning and a third, allowing one run on two hits. Manuel Rodriguez earned his first save of the season by throwing two thirds of an inning without allowing a run.

GAME TWO

Nick Gallagher made his first start of the season for the Hillcats after serving as a long reliever for his first three appearances. The Pelicans struck first in the first inning. Balego walked and came around to score on an RBI double by Tyler Payne for 1-0 lead.

The Hillcats rallied back in the bottom of the second. Lynchburg loaded the bases on an Oscar Gonzalez single, a Trenton Brooks single, and a Gavin Collins walk. Sicnarf Loopstok grounded into a double play which allowed Gonzalez to score, tying the game at 1-1.

Gallagher began to cruise from there. The right-hander didn’t allow a hit for the next three frames, while striking out a total of seven batters over his four innings of work.

Gallagher was lifted from the game in favor of Felix Tati (Loss, 0-1) in the fifth, and the Myrtle Beach bats broke out. Wladimir Galindo singled followed by a Zach Davis walk. The two runners were knocked in on an RBI single by Balego to put the Pelicans ahead 3-1.

The Hillcats bats continued to flounder against Myrtle Beach pitching, and the Pelicans struck again in the seventh inning. Wilson walked to lead off the frame and later came around to score on an RBI single by Davis, pushing the Pelicans’ lead to 4-1. The Hillcats hitters failed to rally in the bottom of the seventh, and Myrtle Beach secured the double-header sweep.

Gallagher ended the night with four innings of one-run baseball, striking out seven while walking just one. Tati allowed three runs over the final three innings of the game.

Javier Assad tossed four strong innings for Myrtle Beach, allowing just one run while striking out four Hillcats. Erling Moreno (Win, 1-2), making his first appearance out of the bullpen this season, tossed three shut-out innings while allowing just one hit.

The Hillcats will close out their four-game series and seven-game home stand with the Pelicans with a day game on Easter Sunday. Lynchburg will send left-handed starter Adam Scott (1-1, 3.86) to the mound for his second start against the Pelicans this season. Myrtle Beach will counter with Alex Lange (0-2, 15.43), the Cubs’ 12th-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. with gates opening at City Stadium at 2 p.m.

Tomorrow will be Sandlot Sunday, in which all kids in attendance will be able to run around the bases following the conclusion of the game.

Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air beginning at 2:50 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.

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

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