The Lynchburg Hillcats rallied for six runs in the sixth inning in a 6-2 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans tonight. Jarett Miller surrendered two early runs but settled down to throw his sixth quality start in seven outings for Lynchburg.
Lewis Brinson tagged Miller for a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the second inning. A pair of doubles brought home another score. Luis Mendez drove in Christopher Bostick giving the Pelicans (14-12, 58-36) a 2-0 lead. Miller allowed five hits in the first two innings, but only two hit over his final four.
The Hillcats (11-14, 45-50) scored all their runs in the sixth inning off relief pitcher Justin Sprenger. The starter Chad Bell left the game after three scoreless and hitless innings. Sprenger threw two scoreless innings of relief in the fourth and fifth, but only retired one batter in the sixth. A hit batter started the inning followed by a single. Emerson Landoni then put down a sacrifice bunt moving the runners to second and third. Jose Martinez tied the score with a two-run triple. Sprenger then walked Kevin Ahrens before Will Skinner collected his 29th double of the season (tied for the most in the league), driving in Martinez. Justin Bloxom drew a walk to load the bases and Sprenger was taken out of the game. Left-hander Martire Garcia came in to face lefty Tyler Tewell. He balked to allow one inherited runner to score, and then Tewell singled home the other two. All six runs were earned and charged to Sprenger. The inning came to an end when Blake Brown, the ninth batter of the inning, grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
Miller (5-6) allowed two runs on seven hits tonight while walking no one and striking out seven in his winning effort. He is now 3-0 over his last seven starts. Sprenger (0-2) suffered the loss surrendering six runs on for hits, while walking three and striking out one in 2.1 innings.
Nate Hyatt threw the seventh and eighth scoreless for the Hillcats, and Alex Wilson completed the ninth 1-2-3. Wilson has now thrown 16 consecutive scoreless innings, a new season-high for the a Hillcat, breaking his own previous mark of 15.1 innings.
The Hillcats will enjoy an off day tomorrow before hosting the Carolina Mudcats for game one of a three game series Wednesday at 7:05pm. Right-hander Lucas Sims (6-8, 4.97) will start for the Hillcats against righty D.J. Brown (2-5, 4.79) for the Mudcats. Gates open at 6pm. The Hillcats On-Deck Show presented by Amtrak Virginia will go on the air at 6:40pm. Erik Wilson and Kyle West will have the call on 97.9 The Planet.