With Lynchburg leading 2-1 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Ryan Cordell hit a grand slam to left field to catapult Myrtle Beach to a 5-2 victory at TicketReturn.com Field Saturday night.
The game-changing frame began with Nick Vickerson coaxing a leadoff walk against Brady Feigl. Feigl retired the next two batters before the Hillcats (33-34, 67-70) turned the ball over to their closer, Alex Wilson. Wilson had been lights out in the second half, sporting an 0.30 ERA since the All-Star Break and currently in the middle of 13 consecutive scoreless innings.
Christopher Bostick walked, and Preston Beck reached on an infield single to load the bases. After fouling off multiple two-strike pitches, Cordell lined a ball over the left field fence to give Myrtle Beach (37-31, 81-55) the 5-2 advantage. The home run marked the fifth of the season for the former Liberty University player and his third against the Hillcats. It also represented the first blown save of the year for Wilson, who had been a perfect 16-for-16 previously.
Wilson (4-3) suffered the loss, while Cody Kendall (1-1) earned the win after 1.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Jose Leclerc earned his 14th save of the year with a perfect ninth. Neither starter factored into the decision despite both stealing the show for the first six frames.
Wes Parsons gave up a run in the first inning but retired 12 in a row after that. He left after only allowing one run and three hits in six innings. Chad Bell started for the Pelicans and shut down the Hillcats’ attack by only surrendering two hits and two walks in six frames.
After a sacrifice fly by Kellin Deglan gave Myrtle Beach the lead in the first, Lynchburg did not surge ahead until the seventh. Jose Martinez drew a leadoff walk against Sam Stafford and advanced to second on a passed ball. Blake Brown singled to center field to drive home Martinez and tie the game, 1-1. Two batters later, Johan Camargo singled to center field, and Brown scored thanks to an error by Lewis Brinson.
Lynchburg is now tied with Frederick in the Northern Division Wild Card standings with two days remaining in the regular season. Lucas Sims (7-11, 4.36) will take the ball for the Hillcats, while Myrtle Beach has not named its starter yet. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m., and the Hillcats On-Deck Show will begin on 97.9 The Planet at 5:40 p.m.