Hillcats Split Twin Bill with Birds on Sunday
Myrtle Beach, S.C. - The Lynchburg Hillcats split their double-header on Sunday night against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, beating the Cubs affiliate in Game One, 6-1, and falling in the night cap, 3-2.
The Hillcats (12-13, 44-48) snapped a season-high six-game losing streak by beating the Pelicans (13-12, 34-58) in the the opener, but Myrtle Beach rallied for three unanswered runs in the second game.
Lynchburg jumped out to an early lead, plating two in the first inning. Tyler Freeman reached on an infield single and Oscar Gonzalez singled behind him to put two runners on. After a wild pitch moved them up to second and third base, Mitch Reeves roped a two-run double down the left field line to give the Hillcats a 2-0 lead.
In the second, Lynchburg added another pair of runs. Jonathan Laureano and Jodd Carter reached on back-to-back singles and another wild pitch advanced them 90 feet. Later in the frame with one out, Tyler Friis ripped a two-run double to widen the gap to 4-0.
After the top of the second inning, the game experienced a 26-minute delay due to lightening in the area.
In the fifth, the Hillcats made it a 6-0 spread. Freeman singled and Gonzalez doubled to put runners at second and third. In stepped Reeves, who clobbered his second two-run double of the day.
Myrtle Beach scored its only run in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly from Miguel Amaya.
Reeves finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI. The first four hitters in the lineup, Friis, Freeman, Gonzalez and Reeves, all picked up multi-hit games.
Hector Hernandez (Win, 2-2) was dominant on the hill for Lynchburg. The left-hander fired six innings and allowed just one run on four hits, striking out four. Aaron Pinto fired a 1-2-3 seventh inning to nail down the win.
Ryan Kellogg started for Myrtle Beach. He gave up six earned runs on 10 hits in 4.2 frames. Ethan Roberts worked 2.1 scoreless in relief for the Birds.
For the second straight game, the Hillcats jumped ahead in the first inning. Steven Kwan led off the game with a triple and scored on an RBI double from Tyler Freeman. Later in the frame, Wilbis Santiago tripled home Freeman for a 2-0 Lynchburg lead.
Myrtle Beach threatened in the bottom of the first. Juan Hillman (Loss, 3-10) loaded the bases with none out, but got Tyler Payne to bounce into a double play and got Jimmy Herron to ground out to end the frame without any runs coming across.
The Birds did break through against Hillman in the third. With Payne at first with two out, Herron belted a two-run home run, his fourth of the year, to knot the game at 2-2.
In the fourth, Myrtle Beach pulled ahead for good. Wladimir Galindo singled and went first to third on a single from Kevonte Mitchell. Jose Gutierrez lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Galindo to complete the Pelicans comeback and cap the scoring.
Hillman worked 3.2 innings and allowed three earned runs on seven hits. He walked three and struck out two. Jonathan Teaney retired all four hitters he faced and Felix Tati fired a scoreless sixth inning.
Paul Richan went the distance for the Birds. The right-hander worked all seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits, striking out six.
The two teams will match up in the finale of the three-game set on Monday night. Right-hander Evan Mitchell (2-1, 7.71) will start for Lynchburg against righty Erich Uelman (3-2, 3.20) of the Pelicans. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Max Gun will be on the air at 6:55 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
The Hillcats will return to City Stadium on July 17 for a six-game home stand against Fayetteville and Frederick. Homestand highlights include Winning Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, Fantastic Friday, Sparkling Saturday, and Sandlot Sunday. Friday's post-game fireworks show will be presented by Pepsi while Saturday's will be presented by Kona Ice.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or visit the City Stadium box office.
The Lynchburg Hillcats are the Advanced-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The Hillcats are eight-time Carolina League Champions, having most recently won the Mills Cup Championship in 2017. The Hillcats play their home games at City Stadium, which has been home to Minor League Baseball in Lynchburg since 1963. Visit the Hillcats online at Lynchburg-hillcats.com, and follow the Hillcats on Twitter (@LynHillcats), Instagram (@LynHillcats) and Facebook (Lynchburg Hillcats). For more information about the Lynchburg Hillcats, please contact Max Gun at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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