Kevin Ahrens hit his league-leading 41st double of the year, and Jose Martinez and Sean Godfrey each notched an RBI Monday, but the Lynchburg HIllcats fell to Myrtle Beach in the regular-season finale at TicketReturn.com Field, 3-2.
With a playoff spot already in hand, Lynchburg received a one-out double from Levi Hyams in the first inning, but that was the only hit for the Hillcats (34-35, 68-71) through the opening three frames. Meanwhile, Myrtle Beach (38-32, 82-56) took a 2-0 lead. Preston Beck hit an RBI double to left in the first inning to drive home Chris Grayson, who doubled to lead off the stanza. Christopher Bostick’s solo home run to begin the second inning gave the Pelicans a 2-0 advantage.
Lynchburg’s initial run came in the fourth inning. Ahrens doubled, and Martinez picked up his 34th RBI of the season with a single to center field. Martinez stole his fifth base in the frame and advanced to third on a passed ball but was stranded there.
The Hillcats tied the game in the eighth. Blake Brown singled, and Sean Godfrey doubled over the head of the center fielder to knot the game at 2-all. Myrtle Beach broke the tie in the bottom of the ninth after Nick Vickerson walked and Lewis Brinson singled to put two on with two out. Luis Mendez hit a walk-off double to end the game.
Navery Moore (1-2) suffered the loss after coming out of the bullpen for the ninth. Cody Buckel (5-6) blew a save opportunity in the eighth but earned the victory for the Pelicans after striking out three over the final two frames. Jarett Miller started the game for Lynchburg and allowed two runs in five innings while striking out four.
Lynchburg now turns its attention to the postseason. The Hillcats head to Potomac for a best-of-three series against the Nationals. Game 1 of the series will be Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. All three games of the first round will be played at Pfitzner Stadium because the Nationals won both halves of the Northern Division. The first round will take place Wednesday through Friday, while the Mills Cup Championship Series is scheduled to begin Saturday if the Hillcats advance.
Fans can tune in to the first game of the playoffs on 97.9 The Planet, beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show presented by Amtrak Virginia at 6:40 p.m.