The Lynchburg Hillcats defeated Winston-Salem on Wednesday afternoon despite the best efforts of Warthogs first baseman Brandon Allen.
The 22-year-old Texan hit for the cycle as part of a 5-for-5 ballgame, scored four runs and drove in two. The Hillcats nonetheless held on for a 12-11 victory.
"I'm disappointed we couldn't come out with the win, obviously," said Allen. "As for the cycle, the game's all about getting on base and scoring runs, and I was glad to be to be able to do that today."
Allen bashed a solo homer in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and doubled in both the fifth and seventh before leading off the ninth with a triple. According to Allen, hitting for the cycle never crossed his mind.
"I'm always oblivious about that kind of stuff," he said. "I didn't even know I had a chance to do that until after I doubled in the seventh, and my teammates were asking me why I didn't go for three. Maybe I could have made it, but we were down 12-7 at the time and you can't take that kind of risk in that situation."
The Warthogs were down, 12-9, when Allen came to bat to lead off the ninth.
"We were losing by three runs, so all I was thinking about was getting on base," said the 2004 fifth-round Draft pick. "I hit a changeup to right-center field and was just glad to make it to third."
Three batters later, Anderson Gomes homered to bring Winston-Salem (16-18) to within one. Representing the tying run, Francisco Hernandez flied out to left field to end the game.
The two clubs combined for 19 extra-base hits in the ballgame, including 14 doubles. Anthony Mansolino's three-run double highlighted the Hillcats' five-run first inning, while Jared Keel hit a two-run double in the sixth and a two-run homer in the seventh.
Allen, Gomes, John Shelby III, Lee Cruz, and C.J. Rethorford each drove in a pair of runs for the Warthogs. Shelby connected for his fifth home run of the season in the eighth.
Kyle Pearson (1-0) earned the win for the Hillcats (16-22), tossing two-thirds of a scoreless inning in relief of starter Daniel Moskos. Adam Simon picked up his third save despite allowing two runs in the ninth.
Matthew Long (2-3) took the loss, yielding eight runs on six hits over five-plus innings.