Lynchburg, Va. - For the first time this season, the Lynchburg Hillcats found themselves on the losing end of a shutout, dropping the second game of the series against the Buies Creek Astros, 4-0, on Tuesday at City Stadium.
In what was a scoreless game after three innings, the Astros used the middle innings to propel them to victory for the second straight night. On Monday, Buies Creek used a four-run fourth inning and a six-run fifth to down Lynchburg.
Hillcats starter Micah Miniard (Loss, 0-1) retired the first two hitters he faced in the fourth inning before allowing a two-out single to Luis Payano and a walk to Carlos Canelon. With two runners on, the inning was extended for Anibal Sierra, who ripped a two-run double to give Buies Creek a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, Miniard allowed the first two hitters to reach via walks. Later in the inning, with runners on second and third, Osvaldo Duarte hit an RBI ground out and Chas McCormick poked an RBI single to extend the Astros lead to 4-0.
Lynchburg's best scoring chance came in the fifth inning when Jodd Carter reached on a bunt single to open the inning and Alexis Pantoja followed with a walk. After Erlin Cerda struck out, Conner Capel bounced into an inning-ending double play to end the threat.
Miniard, in his first start of the season, allowed four earned runs on three hits in four innings. He walked five and struck out three.
Abdiel Saldana (Win, 1-0) pitched six scoreless innings, allowed four hits and struck out six. Jesus Balaguer and Kit Scheetz combined for three scoreless innings out of the Astros bullpen.
Through six games this season, the Hillcats have scored just 10 runs, the fewest in the Carolina league. Lynchburg has also struck out a league-leading 65 times, including 25 punch outs in the first two games of the series with Buies Creek. Additionally, the team committed a season-high three errors in Tuesday's loss.
The Hillcats (2-4) have now lost two straight games for the first time this season, and will look to salvage one game in the series finale tomorrow evening against the Astros. Lefty Sam Hentges (0-0, 0.00) will start for Lynchburg, opposite of right-hander Jorge Alcala (0-1, 9.00) for Buies Creek. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
It will be Winning Wednesday at City Stadium, meaning every fan wins by receiving a free ticket to the next Wednesday Hillcats home game.
Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air at 6:20 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 app.
For tickets and more information visit Lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or stop by the City Stadium box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.