Myrtle Beach jumps out early, holds on to top Lynchburg
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans started the game off on fire with five consecutive hits to start the game. The four-run first inning was too much for the Hillcats offense to over come in the 7-3 loss in the series opener. Pelicans lefty, Roman Mendez, was solid striking out five through 6.0 innings. One of his sole mistakes was a first inning home run by Nick Ahmed.
It was a rough start from the very beginning for the Hillcats and Gus Schlosser. The first five batters he faced reached on hits. Teodoro Martinez led off the game with an infield single, Jared Hoying followed with an RBI double scoring Martinez, Christian Villanueva slapped an RBI single the opposite way that scored Hoying. Thomas Telis added a single that advanced Villanueva to second. The final hit was off the bat of Brett Nicholas. His two RBI double was an line shot down the left field line that went to the corner. Both Villanueva and Telis were able to cruise home to make the score 4-0 in the top of the first.
Nick Ahmed answered back for the Hillcats when he turned on a Roman Mendez fastball. Ahmed crushed it over the left field wall to make it 4-1.
The third inning belonged to the Pelicans offense. Villanueva led the inning off with a single to right. Schlosser retired the next two batters and it seemed like he was able to settle down, but Santiago Chirino ripped a double to left. Villanueva jogged home and Chirino was aboard with the third RBI double surrendered by Schlosser on the day. The score was now 5-1.
The Hillcats squandered opportunities until they chipped away in the fourth. Edward Salcedo gave a Mendez fastball a ride to deep center field off the top of the wall. He raced around the bases and stopped at third with his first triple of the season. Chris Garcia followed with a softly hit ground ball to second base that allowed Salcedo to score to make it 5-2.
The top of the fifth began like the two previous scoring innings for Myrtle Beach, with a lead-off base hit. This time it was Hoying getting the inning going with a sharply hit double. Villanueva was then plunked on the third pitch of his plate appearance. Telis added a line drive single that was hit too hard for anyone to score. After Schlosser got Nicholas to fly out to shallow center, Chirinio picked-up his teammate with a sacrafice fly to deep left that saw Hoying score. A throw home sailed on Smith in left field and each runner advanced. Now runners were at second and third with two outs. A high chopper from Yefry Castillo went over the head of Emerson Landoni at third base. Ahmed decided to keep it in his pocket and Villanueva scored to make it 7-2. The run would end Schlosser’s day and the scoring for the Pelicans.
After a seventh inning stretch, Lynchburg got the offense started with two outs. A single, stolen base and wild pitch gave Tommy La Stella the opportunity to reach third base. Then, Tim Smith hit a screamer off the top of the left-center field wall. La Stella scored on Smith’s first extra base hit of the season. The run would be the last of the day for the Hillcats.
The loss marked the first time the ‘Cats have lost three consecutive games this season. The winner was Roman Mendez (2-3). He went 6.0 innings, scattering five hits, while giving up two runs–both earned–walking three and striking out five. Gus Schlosser (3-1) got his first loss of the season. He went 4.2 innings, gave up 10 hits–tying a season high–and allowing seven earned runs–a career high. He also fanned three.
The Lynchburg Hillcats and Myrtle Beach Pelicans will return to action tomorrow at 6:05pm at Calvin Falwell Field. Lynchburg City Stadium will open its gates at 5:00pm for Autism Awarness Night. The first 1,000 fans that enter will get a free Autism Awareness T-shirt thanks to the Physicians Treatment Center. Dimasther Delgado (0-1, 6.75) will make his second start of the season. The Pelicans will send righty Nicholas Tepesh (1-2, 3.29) to the mound. If you can’t make it to the ballpark, you can listen live to all the action on 105.5 FM KD Country and online at lynchburg-hillcats.com starting with the Hillcats On-Deck Show coming on the air at 5:40pm with Erik Wilson and Mike Viso.