LYNCHBURG, VA -Triston McKenzie turned in seven shutout innings to pace the Lynchburg Hillcats (1-1) to a 4-0 victory over the Frederick Keys (1-1) on Friday night at City Stadium. With the setback, the Northern Division Championship Series is now tied 1-1, with a decisive game three scheduled for Saturday night.
The Carolina League Pitcher of the Year, McKenzie (1-0) scattered only three hits over seven frames to go along with 10 strikeouts in the win. He concludes his 2017 campaign just four punch outs shy of 200. It was also McKenzie's seventh game of 10 or more strikeouts on the season.
Lynchburg got on the board in the second inning against Brian Gonzalez . After Mitch Longo opened the inning with a single, Connor Marabell reached on an error by Jomar Reyes at third. A passed ball then moved both into scoring position for Sicnarf Loopstok who brought Longo home via groundout.
An RBI base hit by Longo scored Andrew Calica one inning later, following a single and a walk. Lynchburg concluded its scoring in the sixth. After an intentional walk set up a possible double play with men at first and second, Loopstok hit an RBI single to right and Ka'ai Tom drove home one more with a two-bagger.
Gonzalez (0-1) suffered the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits in 4.2 innings. Dominic DeMasi retired all six he faced to conclude the shutout. Hillcats pitching set down the last 12 Keys hitters of the game.
Game three of the NDCS is slated for 6:00 p.m on Saturday night from City Stadium. Left-hander Reid Love (6-4, 3.71) gets the ball for the Keys in the decisive game. Pre-game coverage begins at 5:40 on MAX Country 93.5 FM/100.5 FM as well as frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.