Greg Allen scored both Hillcats runs thanks to two walks and three stolen bases in his first two trips to the plate, and Julian Merryweather struck out six batters over six scoreless innings to help the Hillcats blank the Winston-Salem Dash, 2-0, Sundayafternoon at City Stadium.
Greg Allen drew a leadoff walk in the first inning and proceeded to steal second base with Yu-Cheng Chang at the plate. That allowed the speedy outfielder to tag on a fly ball to right field by Cheng. With Bobby Bradley batting, a pitch popped out of the mitt of the catcher Chris O’Dowd. It only rolled a few feet away from the plate, but that was enough to open the door for Allen, who sprinted home to score on a passed ball.
In the third, Allen again opened the frame with a walk. He then stole second and third base in a three-pitch sequence, which set up a sacrifice fly by Anthony Santander to give the Hillcats a 2-0 edge.
Allen is already 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts this season, and he has stolen nine bases in only seven career games with the Hillcats, dating back to last season.
After spending all of last season in Lake County, Julian Merryweather impressed in his first start at the Advanced-A level by striking out six in six innings while only allowing five baserunners. The right-hander did not walk anyone, and four of the five hits against him were singles.
Lefty David Speer entered for the seventh and eighth innings to earn a hold. He fanned three batters and only conceded one hit.Trevor Frank struck out one in the ninth to notch his first save of the season and preserve the shutout.
The Hillcats scored each of their runs without a base hit in the inning…Lynchburg only posted three hits in the game, two byClaudio Bautista and the other by Daniel Salters…The ‘Cats recorded nine combined shutouts as a pitching staff last year.
Lynchburg welcomes the Potomac Nationals to town for a three-game series Monday night at 6:30 p.m. Gates open at City Stadium at 5:30 p.m. It’s Monday Madness presented by ABC 13, which means that all tickets except for the skybox level are buy one, get one free. Sean Brady will make his first start for the Hillcats against fellow right-hander Boone Whiting. Fans can tune in to the action on 93.3 FM and 1320 AM as well as www.lynchburg-hillcats.com beginning at 6:15 p.m. for the Hillcats On-Deck Show.