Lynchburg rallies to top Myrtle Beach, 3-2
It was a nail-biter between the Pelicans and the Hillcats in Lynchburg. Early struggles put the ‘Cats in a 2-0 hole, but three unanswered runs pushed Lynchburg to a 3-2 victory. The offense was powered by Adam Milligan’s 2-for-4 day, which included a double and two RBI.
Much like last night, the scoring started early for the Pelicans. Unlike yesterday’s starter, Gus Schlosser, today’s starter, J.R. Graham, has been dominate against Myrtle Beach this season. However, it was a rocky start for the ‘Cats ace. After two quick outs to start the top of the first, it would be three consecutive hits by the Pelicans offense. The run-producing hit belonged to Tomas Telis. His double scored Christian Villanueva and Brett Nicholas to give Myrtle Beach the early 2-0 lead.
Graham’s counterpart, Luke Jackson, was making his first appearance in High-A ball. Jackson is a former first-round pick from the 2010 draft. He was actually picked before recently promoted pitcher, Cody Buckel. Jackson was sharp in his first two innings, but ran into some trouble in the bottom of the third. It was the top of the order doing damage, starting with Mycal Jones’ double. Nick Ahmed followed with a single that scored Jones to cut it to 2-1. After a Tommy La Stella sacrifice bunt, Adam Milligan hit a rocket shot down the left field line, Ahmed scored and Milligan cruised into second with a double. The score was 2-2 and that’s where it would remain until the seventh.
The Pelicans brought Jimmy Reyes in for Jackson in the sixth inning, but it was the bottom of the seventh that gave Reyes trouble. Jones singled with one out and La Stella singled with two outs. Again, it would be Milligan who came through with the big hit. A Milligan single scored Jones, La Stella took third and Milligan advanced on the throw. It was a 3-2 score in Lynchburg’s favor. The day for Reyes was over after that play and Matt West entered. West walked Edward Salcedo but–with the bases loaded and a 3-2 count–West got Chris Garcia to line out to end the threat.
In the top of the eighth, the Pelicans would put two men on, but Ryne Harper would keep his sheet clean by fanning Telis to end the threat. The ninth was just as hairy for the ‘Cats. A lead-off single for Vinny DiFazio put immediate pressure on new pitcher, Cole McCurry. Jake Skole laid down the sacrifice bunt to advance DiFazio to second. Cafe Martinez would reach on an infield single, but DiFazio had to stay put because it was to the left side. McCurry would get Josh Richmond to hit a shallow fly ball that saw Emerson Landoni and David Rohm converge on before Rohm called off the utilityman, Landoni. With two outs, Odubel Herrera, would take his cuts. A six pitch battle ended with a blooper hit over to Ahmed to end the thrilling ninth inning.
Chasen Shreve, who entered for Graham, got the win to improve to 4-2 on the season. Shreve went two innings, allowed one hit and sat down three. Reyes (1-2) picked up the loss. He went one and two-third innings, allowed four hits, one run and struck out four. McCurry got his first save as member of the Hillcats.