Rivera Powers Hillcats to Series Win over Pelicans
The Hillcats now own a share of first place in the Northern Division with the win
Lynchburg, Va. - The Lynchburg Hillcats took advantage of a fourth-inning home run by catcher Mike Rivera to cruise to a 5-3 win over Myrtle Beach on Saturday night.
Lynchburg (11-6, 43-41) has won its last six games decided by two runs or fewer as they push the Pelicans (9-9, 30-54) back to .500 in the second half.
The Pelicans opened up the scoring in the second inning. Tyler Payne hit a leadoff double and was moved to third on a single by Carlos Sepulveda. A groundout by Kevonte Mitchell allowed Payne to score to give the Pelicans a 1-0 lead.
Wilbis Santiago began the third with a double of his own. Two batters later, Steven Kwan singled to right field to plate Santiago, knotting the game up at 1-1.
Lynchburg took the lead in a big fourth frame. Mitch Reeves singled and Gavin Collins doubled to get two Hillcats runners into scoring position. Mike Rivera walloped a three-run homer to left to put the Hillcats in the lead 4-1.
In the top of the fifth, Myrtle Beach struck again. Tyler Durna doubled and advanged to third on a single by Cam Balego. Payne drove Durna home with a single to cut the 'Cats lead to 4-2.
Kwan walked to start the home fifth. After a throwing error by Javier Assad (Loss, 2-6), Kwan found himself on third base. Will Benson hit a sacrifice fly to knock Kwan in, putting Lynchburg up 5-2.
The Pelicans rallied again in the sixth. Wladimir Galindo was hit by a pitch, but was called out at second as Mitchell reached on a fielder's choice. D.J. Wilson walked and Jimmy Herron singled to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by Delvin Zinn drove Mitchell home to cut the Lynchburg lead to 5-3, which was the last time Myrtle Beach would strike in the game.
Kirk McCarty (Win, 2-2) allowed two runs over five innings while punching out five batters en route to his second straight win. Felix Tati, Riley Echols, and Yapson Gomez (Save, 4) combined for four innings and just one run allowed. Gómez has only allowed three runs since May 1.
Assad surrendered five runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk while striking out two. Erling Moreno and Manny Rodriguez each fired scoreless innings in relief.
The Hillcats will hit the road for a nine-game road trip starting Sunday in Carolina. They will also face Down East and Myrtle Beach on the road swing. The Mudcats will send righty Nelson Hernandez (8-6, 4.52) to the rubber while the Hillcats will hand the ball to right-hander Justin Garza (4-5, 4.56). First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
Max Gun and Anders Jorstad will be on the air at 1:50 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 postgame 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.
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