The comeback 'Cats were at it again tonight erasing a 3-0 deficit early to win 4-3 over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Daniel Castro scored on a groundout in the seventh to give the Hillcats their only lead of the night. The lead lasted the rest of the way as Ryan Kelly pitched the final three innings scoreless for Lynchburg.
The Pelicans (42-21) jumped out ahead in the first inning. Chris Garia doubled to lead off the inning. He advanced to third base on a groundout to shortstop. Preston Beck then hit a groundball to first base. Garia broke for the plate, so Edison Sanchez tried to cut the runner down at home. Garia slid into the far side of the plate, tagging the plate with his left hand putting the Pelicans up 1-0. David Lyon added to the lead with a two-run double in the third inning.
The Hillcats (33-32) continued to frustrate at the plate early grounding into a double play in the first inning and another in the third inning. They've now hit into 15 over their last eight games. In the second inning the 'Cats had runners at first and second with nobody out but failed to push a runner to third base.
The offense received help from the Pelicans defense in the sixth. Jose Peraza started the inning with a single. Kyle Wren then hit a ball back to the mound. The pitcher, Jason Knapp, threw the ball away at first base allowing Peraza to reach third base and Wren advanced to second. Knapp then balked and Peraza scored the Hillcats' first run. David Nick then hit a shallow fly ball to left field where Chris Grayson missed the catch. Wren scored and the Hillcats only trailed 3-2.
Lynchburg scored two more runs off Cody Buckel in the seventh inning. Sanchez drove in a run with a sac fly to tie the score. With one out and runners at second and third Peraza hit a grounder to a drawn in second baseman. Christopher Bostick fielded the ball to his left, spun, looked at third, but quickly threw to first base for the out. Castro took off from third as soon as Bostick looked away and scored without even a relay from the first baseman. The Hillcats took a 4-3 lead.
Kelly relieved starter Jarett Miller in the bottom of the seventh. He struck out the side in order in the seventh, stranded two in the eighth and completed the ninth perfect to earn his fourth save of the season. Miller (3-6) turned in a quality start allowing just three runs over six innings and got the win.
The Potomac Nationals lost tonight, so the Hillcats picked up a game in the standings, now trailing the P-Nats by 2.5 games. Potomac's magiv number remains at three.
The rubbermatch between the Hillcats and Pelicans is tomorrow night at 7:05pm. Right-handed pitcher Wes Parsons (4-2, 3.56) will start for the Hillcats against lefty Victor Payano (3-3, 4.97) for Myrtle Beach. The Hillcats On-Deck Show presented by Amtrak Virginia will go on the air at 6:40pm. Erik Wilson will have the call on 97.9 The Planet.