Sheffield fans 10 in rain-delayed, fog-shortened Lynchburg win

lynchburg hillcatsAfter witnessing a pre-game fireworks show as part of a three-hour rain delay, the Hillcats wasted no time jumping on Carolina and led for the duration of the contest, claiming a 3-1 victory when fog forced the game to be called “early” in the seventh inning at 12:40 a.m.

Justus Sheffield dominated by tying a career-high 10 strikeouts while holding the Mudcats to one run on five hits in six innings at Five County Stadium Saturday night.

Intense rain prior to the game at Five County Stadium caused the contest to be delayed until 10:03 p.m., when the umpires, managers and Carolina front office finally deemed the field playable. As part of the delay, the Carolina Mudcats held their fireworks show once it became dark around 9:30 p.m.

Unfazed by the long wait, Greg Allen immediately opened the game with a double. Tyler Krieger then notched a double on a fly ball to left-center field that both Carolina outfielders let fall between them. Allen only advanced to third on the play, but he was able to score one batter later when Luigi Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to left field. With two outs in the same frame, Yu-Cheng Chang singled to center field, which plated Krieger to make it 2-0. Tanner Murphy hit a solo home run for Carolina in the second inning to cut the Hillcats lead in half.

The final run of the contest came on a leadoff home run by Chang in the fourth inning. Francisco Mejia lined a ball over the head of the right fielder for a triple in the sixth inning, extending his hitting streak to 28 consecutive games.

Justus Sheffield (6-4) and Max Povse (5-5), both Carolina League All-Stars, shined brightly Saturday night. Sheffield tied a career high with 10 strikeouts, while Povse struck out a personal-best 11 hitters.

Sheffield went six innings, and Carolina’s only run came on the Murphy solo homer to lead off the second. The left-hander finished strong. With a runner on third and nobody out, Sheffield induced an infield pop out and then struck out the next two hitters to keep Lynchburg ahead, 3-1. Povse took the loss despite a quality start with three runs surrendered on six hits in six innings.

With a runner at first and nobody out in the bottom of the seventh inning, the umpires pulled the players off the field due to heavy fog. Following a 30-minute fog delay, the game was officially called at 12:40 a.m.

Sheffield also struck out 10 against the Arizona League Padres on August 16, 2014…The Hillcats have homered in five of their six games on this road trip and have hit 45 of their 71 homers on the road…Allen has reached base in 20 consecutive games, tying Bobby Bradley for the longest streak by a Hillcat this year…This marked the first game involving Lynchburg affected by both rain and fog this season.

Lynchburg goes for a series sweep against Carolina Sunday night at 7 p.m. Sean Brady (6-3, 4.93) will start for the Hillcats against Enderson Franco (5-4, 4.48). Fans can listen to the action on 93.3 FM and 1320 AM as well as, beginning with the Hillcats On-Deck Show at 6:45 p.m.

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