Lynchburg pushed its winning streak to five in a row with back-to-back victories at Carolina Tuesday night, 1-0 and 7-1. The Mudcats' only run of the doubleheader was unearned, while the Hillcats tallied eight runs on 14 hits between the two seven-inning contests.
Thomas Pannone (1-0, 0.00) kept Carolina's hitters off balance throughout the first game to earn his first win of the season. The left-hander went 5 2/3 innings, holding Carolina to just one hit while striking out six. Opponents are batting just .060 against Pannone, who has 22 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings to begin the year. Leandro Linares recorded the final four outs to notch his first save. The Hillcats now have five different pitchers each with one save in 2017.
After leaving four runners in scoring position over the first five innings, Lynchburg finally broke through in the sixth. Ka'ai Tom doubled to open the stanza. He advanced to third on a single by Andrew Calica and scored on a groundout off the bat of Yonathan Mendoza.
The Hillcats offense didn't wait around in game two, as Lynchburg posted four runs on four hits in the first inning. Tom doubled with one out and later scored on an RBI single by Sicnarf Loopstok. Following a Calica walk, Martin Cervenka drove in a pair of runs with a double, making it 3-0 in favor of Lynchburg. Cervenka scored on a wild pitch to give the Hillcats a 4-0 advantage.
Carolina's lone run came in the second inning when Jake Gatewood reached on an error, and Troy Stokes, Jr., knocked him in three batters later.
The Hillcats extended their lead with an RBI single from Tom in the fourth that brought home Willi Castro. In the seventh, Loopstok lined a ball off the fence in left field for a double, and Cervenka crushed a ball over the wall in left for a two-run homer. Cervenka is hitting .343, and he has posted a multi-hit performance in five of the eight games he has played in 2017.
Triston McKenzie (2-1, 1.72) struck out eight in five innings to qualify for the victory. Argenis Angulo and Dominic DeMasi each tossed a scoreless inning out of the bullpen to complete the doubleheader sweep.
The Hillcats have an Off Day Wednesday before beginning a four-game homestand against the Potomac Nationals Thursday at 6:30 p.m.Jared Robinson (1-1, 4.50) will start for Lynchburg. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and fans can listen to the game live at www.lynchburg-hillcats.com or on the TuneIn radio app, beginning at 6:20 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.