Mudcats' bullpen shuts down Lynchburg
LYNCHBURG - The Carolina Mudcats defeated the Lynchburg Hillcats by a score of 5-2 on Wednesday night at Lynchburg City Stadium in Lynchburg, Virginia.
For the third consecutive game, the victorious team prevailed with five runs while the losing team could only score two. After a scoreless first inning, Lynchburg found some early offense against Mudcats’ starting pitcher Francisco Jimenez.
Hillcats’ third baseman Edward Salcedo reached first on a force out play at second base. Salcedo quickly stole second base, his seventh of the season, and ended up at third on an over throw from Mudcats’ catcher Dwight Childs. Lynchburg first baseman Chris Garcia singled on a line drive to left field, which allowed Salcedo to trot home and make it 1-0 Hillcats.
In the bottom of the third inning, Lynchburg catcher Braeden Schlehuber drove one of Jimenez’s pitches 325 feet over the wall in left field to make it 2-0 Lynchburg.
From that point forward it was all Carolina.
The Mudcats crossed home plate for the first time in the top of the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Jesus Aguilar and they were just getting warmed up.
In the seventh inning, Mudcats’ center fielder Tony Wolters drew a walk from Hillcats’ reliever Ronan Pacheco. Carolina right fielder Carlos Moncrief followed with a bunt single and Wolters was able to score from second on a single by Aguilar. With the game knotted 2-2, second baseman Justin Toole reached on a throwing error by Salcedo that allowed Moncrief to score and make it 3-2 Carolina. Third baseman Tyler Cannon, who already crushed his fourth double of the season in the second inning, drove a single to left field that brought in Aguilar from second putting Carolina up 4-2.
In the top of the ninth, Aguilar got the inning started with an infield single and was able to advance to second on a wild pitch by Hillcats’ closer Matt Chaffee. Toole made it to first on Lynchburg’s fifth error of the night and Aguilar was poised to score once again as he rested 90 feet from home plate. Cannon didn’t make Aguilar wait long and sent him home on a long sacrifice fly to center field that concluded the scoring for the evening.
The Mudcats’ bullpen got the job done against the Hillcats. They only allowed three hits over four shutout innings of work with five combined strikeouts. Mudcat’s closer Jose Flores finished off the Hillcats in the bottom of the ninth earning his fifth save.
Carolina will wrap-up their seven game Virginia road trip with an 11:05 a.m. start against Lynchburg on Thursday afternoon.