McKenzie, DeMasi dominate in 4-0 Hillcats shutout
Triston McKenzie struck out 10 in seven innings before turning the ball over to Dominic DeMasi, who struck out three batters as part of two perfect frames to complete a 4-0 victory Friday night at City Stadium.
With the win, Lynchburg tied the best-of-three Northern Division Championship Series, 1-1. That means whoever wins Game 3 of the NDCS at City Stadium Saturday at 6 p.m. will claim the series. Earlier Friday, the Carolina League announced that the Mills Cup Championship Series had been canceled due to Hurricane Irma. Because of that, the winner of NDCS Game 3 will become Carolina League co-champion with Down East. The Wood Ducks clinched the Southern Division Championship Series at Myrtle Beach Friday.
Mitch Longo went 3-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. His first hit was a leadoff single in the second. He scored three batters later on a Sicnarf Loopstok RBI groundout. The Hillcats tallied another run in the third when Longo’s two-out single drove in Andrew Calica, who had a two-out single of his own in the frame.
Leading 2-0, Longo singled to open the sixth. Connor Marabell reached on an intentional walk with one out. Loopstok singled to right field to plate Longo, and Ka’ai Tom doubled to knock in Marabell and make it 4-0.
Carolina League Pitcher of the Year McKenzie earned the win with his seven scoreless innings. It marked the ninth time he went seven innings in a start this year but his first in which he did not allow a run. The right-hander fanned 10 batters, including two apiece in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh stanzas. He only surrendered two walks and three hits. DeMasi retired all six batters he faced in the eighth and ninth. He registered three strikeouts, including back-to-back batters to end the game.
Lynchburg hosts the decisive NDCS Game 3 Saturday at 6 p.m. The Hillcats have not announced their starting pitcher yet. Frederick is expected to send Reid Love (6-4, 3.71) to the mound. The game can be heard live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com.