McKenzie, Krauth shut down P-Nats for Hillcats sweep
Triston McKenzie notched double-digit strikeouts for the sixth time and held Potomac to one run on five hits to help Lynchburg complete a three-game sweep of the Nationals at City Stadium Thursday, 5-1.
McKenzie (12-6) struck out 10 and did not walk anyone in seven innings. He picked up his league-leading 12th win of the year while raising his league-leading strikeout count to 186. The right-hander was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year earlier in the day. Ben Krauth earned his fourth save with the Hillcats after entering in a 2-1 game and striking out two over the final two innings.
Claudio Bautista provided the first run of the game when he hit a solo homer to left in the second inning. It marked his sixth home run of the year and his fourth in the month of August. Potomac answered with its only run of the game in the third. Bryan Mejiasingled and advanced to third on a Daniel Johnson double. He scored one batter later on an RBI groundout off the bat of Jack Sundberg.
The game remained deadlocked at 1-all until the seventh when the Hillcats finally reclaimed the lead. Sicnarf Loopstok hit a two-out single, and Ka’ai Tom drove him home with a triple down the right-field line for his team-leading 65th RBI.
The ‘Cats broke the game open in the eighth with three runs on four hits. Connor Marabell started the rally with a double to right, and Bautista followed with a single. Mitch Longo notched his first RBI at the Advanced-A level with a single, and Anthony Milleradded an RBI single later in the frame. Sam Haggerty tallied the final RBI on a fielder’s choice to plate Longo. Making his Hillcats debut, Longo finished the game 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Lynchburg travels to Wilmington for its final series of the regular season. The four-game set at Frawley Stadium begins Friday at7:05 p.m. Nick Pasquale (3-0, 4.11) is expected to take the mound for the Hillcats. The game can be heard live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com.
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