Pelicans blank Lynchburg in twinbill

The Hillcats’ offense all but disappeared Wednesday night, totaling just four hits through two seven-inning games. The ‘Cats were shutout in both games losing 5-0 and 4-0 to the Pelicans.

Santiago Chirino kick-started the Pelicans’ offense in the bottom of the third inning in game one. Chirino to lead off the inning and advanced to second base when shortstop Andrelton Simmons bobbled the ground ball in shallow left field. David Paisano doubled home Chirino putting the Pelicans on the board. Later in the inning with runners at first and second Joe Leonard committed an error on a ground ball off the bat of Jared Prince allowing Leury Garcia to score. The Pelicans led 2-0.

Myrtle Beach extended their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Chirino did the cleaning up instead of the table setting this time around with a three-run home run. It was his fourth of the season and it put the Pelicans on top 5-0.

RHP Justin Grimm finished six scoreless inning on his way to his third win of the season, while RHP Zeke Spruill went six innings as well, allowing five runs, four earned to take the loss. Spruill’s six inning effort earned him his fifth complete game of the season, which leads the league.

It was more of the same in game two.

Barrett Kleinknecht’s double in the third inning was the only hit for Lynchburg.

The Pelicans led from the beginning with two runs in the first. Travis Adair and Vinny DiFazio contributed RBI singles. Then in the fourth, Jared Prnice doubled home two more to give Myrtle Beach a 4-0 lead, and that’s the way game two would finish.

LHP Chad Bell in just his second start of the season went five scoreless innings. He combined with lefty Joseph Ortiz out the pen for another shutout. LHP Blaine Sims took the loss for the Hillcats, lasting just three and two-thirds innings while surrendering four earned runs on nine hits.

It was just the second time this season the Hillcats had been swept in a doubleheader, and now the second time this road trip the team had been shutout in back-to-back games.

The Hillcats are now 11-21 in the second half tied for third place with the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the Carolina League Northern Division.

The series finale in Myrtle Beach is set for 7:05 pm Thursday night. RHP Aaron Shafer (3-3) will start for the Hillcats against RHP Barret Loux (8-5) for the Pelicans. Listen live to all the action starting wth the Hillcats On-Deck Show powered by Honda/Suzuki of Lynchburg at 6:40 pm on 105.5 KD Country and online at lynchburg-hillcats.com.

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