Late rally falls short, Hillcats drop series finale to Pelicans, 4-3
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET/Hillcats) - The Hillcats tried to overcome a four-run deficit with a late surge, but Lynchburg left the bases loaded in the eighth and stranded the tying run on base in the ninth to fall to Myrtle Beach, 4-3, Sunday afternoon at City Stadium.
Trailing 4-0 entering the eighth, Lynchburg saw four straight batters reach with one out in the frame. Sam Haggerty and Ka’ai Tom hit back-to-back singles to begin the sequence. Connor Marabell walked to load the bases and knock Tommy Thorpe out of the game. Facing Scott Effross, Martin Cervenka singled to left field to bring home a run and keep the bases loaded with one out. However, Effross recovered with a strikeout and popout to end the threat.
Down three in the ninth, Anthony Miller drew a one-out walk. With two outs, Haggerty banged a triple off the centerfield fence to bring the ‘Cats within two. Tom drove in Haggerty with a base hit, and the Hillcats had the potential tying run aboard, but a line drive to center field found the mitt of Connor Myers to end the game.
Effross earned his second five-out save of the series, preserving the win for Oscar De La Cruz. Making his Advanced-A debut, De La Cruz (1-0) struck out five as part of five scoreless innings. Jared Robinson (0-1) took the loss after surrendering two runs on six hits in four innings.
The Pelicans plated two runs in each of the second and fifth frames. Matt Rose hit a home run to left to initiate the scoring with one out in the second. He drove in two more runs with a two-out single in the fifth to finish the game 3-4 with three RBIs.
Lynchburg welcomes the Salem Red Sox to town Monday night at 6:30 p.m. It’s the first Meow Monday of the season. Fans can bring pet food to donate to the Lynchburg Humane Society and receive $3 off admission. Plus, the first 300 fans will receive a team photo featuring the Lynchburg Hillcats and some adoptable pets from the Lynchburg Humane Society. Shao-Ching Chiang will make his first start for the Hillcats against left-hander Dedgar Jimenez of the Red Sox. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.