Morgan’s six hitless innings lead Lynchburg Hillcats to 1-0 win

lynchburg hillcatsEli Morgan did not allow a hit and matched a career-high with nine strikeouts, as the Lynchburg Hillcats came within four outs of a combined no-hitter in a 1-0 shutout of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Thursday.

The Birds’ first hit of the game came with two outs in the eighth inning, when Andruw Monasterio tripled off of Jared Robinson.

The Hillcats (30-38, 1-0) began the second half in nearly identical fashion to how they began the first half, when they edged Down East 1-0 to begin the season.

Mitch Longo led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run to right field, his fourth of the season, which proved to be all the offense the Hillcats would need. Longo also led off the game with a home run at Myrtle Beach on May 21.

Morgan (Win, 3-2) walked Connor Myers in the third inning for his only base runner, retiring 18 of the 19 Pelicans (34-37, 0-1) he faced.

The Hillcats threatened again in the third inning, loading the bases, but were unable to come through against Myrtle Beach starter Alex Lange (Loss, 4-4), who gave up just one run on four hits in six innings, recording seven strikeouts.

Lynchburg also stranded the bases loaded in the seventh inning, leaving eight men on base overall on the night, and going just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Jared Robinson tossed 1.2 scoreless in relief and Ben Krauth got the final out of the eighth inning, stranding the tying run at third base. James Karinchak (Save, 6) worked a scoreless ninth to seal the victory.

The Hillcats also two-hit the Pelicans on May 6, when Zach Plesac tossed a complete-game shutout.

The teams continue their four-game series on Friday night, when the Hillcats send the righty Plesac (4-3, 4.98) to the hill, to face off with Myrtle Beach right-hander Cory Abbott (1-1, 4.50). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at City Stadium.

It will be Jurassic at the Park Night at City Stadium, and the first 1,000 fans will receive a Francisco Mejia bobblehead, courtesy of Pepsi.

Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air at 6:20 p.m. with the Hillcats pregame show on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.

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

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