Three-Game Skid Ends as Hillcats Top Mudcats Friday
Zebulon, N.C. - The Lynchburg Hillcats snapped a three-game losing streak, beating the Carolina Mudcats, 9-7, on Friday night.
The Hillcats (42-47, 13-9) went ahead for good in the fourth inning when they broke a 4-4 tie against Carolina (46-45, 12-9).
Anthony Miller led off with a single and Alexis Pantoja walked to start the inning. Ernie Clement lined an RBI double off the left field fence to push the Hillcats in front. A batter later, Mitch Longo grooved a two-run double to the left-center gap, scoring Pantoja and Clement to give Lynchburg a 7-4 lead.
Clement finished 3-for-4 with two walks, marking the second time in his last 10 games that he reached base five times in a single contest. Longo collected four RBI for the second time in five games, and third time overall this season.
The night's scoring started on the third pitch of the game, when Clement blasted a lead-off home run for a 1-0 Lynchburg lead. It was Clement's first homer of the season and the third lead off home run for the Hillcats this year.
Carolina scored three runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-1 lead. Dustin Houle hit an RBI single to tie the game, and Devin Hairston connected with an RBI double to give the Mudcats the lead. Ryan Aguilar scored on a wild pitch later in the inning.
Lynchburg climbed back on top with a three-run third. Pantoja led off the frame with a single and Clement walked, putting two on with nobody out. Longo blasted an RBI double to score Pantoja, and Trenton Brooks followed with a two-run double put the Hillcats ahead 4-3.
The seesaw game continued in the bottom of the third, when Carolina tied the game at 4-4 on a Cooper Hummel RBI double.
A 7-5 game in the seventh, Lynchburg widened the gap to 8-5 when Longo plated a run with a sacrifice fly.
Making his first start in the lineup since May 27, Gavin Collins crushed a solo home run, his second of the year, in the eighth inning to give Lynchburg a 9-5 edge.
Carolina scored two runs off of Micah Miniard in the eighth, but Dalbert Siri (Save, 5) earned the four-out save to preserve the win.
Eli Morgan started for Lynchburg, and matched a season-high by allowing six hits. He surrendered four earned runs and struck out six. Leandro Linares took over and allowed a run in two innings of work. Jared Robinson (Win, 2-2) fired a scoreless sixth and seventh.
Braden Webb (Loss, 5-7) allowed seven earned runs on eight hits in three innings. Alec Kenilvort and Daniel Brown each tossed three innings in relief, with Brown allowing a pair of runs..
The Hillcats and Mudcats return to action on Saturday, with the second game of the four-game series. Lynchburg will send right-hander Zach Plesac (6-4, 4.79) to the hill against Carolina righty Conor Harber (4-4, 2.20). First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Five County Stadium.
Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air at 4:50 p.m. with the Hillcats pregame show, on TuneIn Radio and Radio434.
The Hillcats return home on Wednesday, July 18, for six games. Home stand highlights include Winning Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, featuring $2 Miller Lite and Yuengling drafts, You're Killing Me Smalls Night on July 20, consisting of an Evan Gattis bobblehead giveaway to the first 1,000 fans, and a used car giveaway on July 21.
For tickets and more information visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, the City Stadium box office, or call 434-528-1144.
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