The Lynchburg Hillcats racked up 14 hits tonight, but lost their fifth straight game 8-6 to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. The ‘Cats committed three errors, which led to four unearned runs. They scored the final five runs of the game and brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth inning before falling for the second straight night in Myrtle Beach.
David Nick led off the game with a double. Jose Martinez drove him in with a one out two-bagger two batters later, and the Hillcats (9-14, 43-50) took a 1-0 lead. The Pelicans (14-10, 58-34) tied the game in the second. A wild throw into center field allowed Christopher Bostick to advance to third after stealing second. He then scored on a sac fly to right field. The run went unearned against Hillcats starter Cody Scarpetta.
The Hillcats committed two more errors in the third inning as the Pelicans tacked on five more runs. Bostick contributed an RBI double. Kevin Torres completed the rally with a sac fly to center field. The throw home was kicked away as Lewis Brinson slid across the plate and Bostick scored as the ball rolled toward the third base dugout. Joe Odom was charged with a missed catch and the Pelicans went up 6-1.
Scarpetta (3-3) left after three innings, allowing six runs, two earned, on five hits, while walking three and striking out two. He suffered the loss as the Pelicans held on to the lead the rest of the night.
Lynchburg responded to the five run third with back-to-back singles in the fourth, but Odom grounded into an inning triple play, 5-4-3 to squash the potential rally. Manager Luis Salazar went out to argue the extremely close calls at second and first base.
Down 8-1 entering the fifth, the Hillcats began to chip away. Blake Brown scored on a fielder’s choice in the fifth. The ‘Cats plated two more runs in the seventh as Landoni and Kevin Ahrens collected RBI singles. The Hillcats pulled within two with another pair of RBI singles from Brown and Landoni in the eighth inning.
While the Hillcats were coming back, the Pelicans offense went silent. Moore, Mauricio Cabrera, and Zach Jadofsky combined to retire the final 11 Pelican batters.
Will Skinner and Justin Bloxom both singled in the ninth for Lynchburg, but the Hillcats stranded the tying run at first base and lost despite out-hitting the Pelicans 14-9.
Victor Payano (3-7) earned his first win in his last 11 starts for Myrtle Beach, giving up two runs over five innings on six hits, while walking three and striking out three. The save went to Jose Leclerc, who pitched a scoreless ninth. It was his 10th save in 11 opportunities.
The series continues tomorrow at 6:05pm. Left-hander Daniel Watts (0-2, 5.79) will start for the Hillcats against lefty Luis Parra (7-4, 4.20) for the Pelicans. The Hillcats On-Deck Show presented by Amtrak Virginia will go on the air at 5:40pm. Erik Wilson will have the call on 97.9 The Planet.