Myrtle Beach got a game-tying home run from Yohendrick Pinango in the second inning, but the Lynchburg pitching staff shut down the Pelicans from there, powering the Hillcats to a 3-1 victory Thursday night at Bank of the James Stadium.
Starter Jordan Jones, reliever Miguel Vinicio and closer Jerson Ramirez combined for 10 strikeouts and didn’t allow a walk to give Lynchburg a 2-1 lead in the six-game series against Myrtle Beach. The trio retired 17 straight batters following Ed Howard’s double with one out in the fourth, and only gave up two hits on the night.
Vinicio (2-0) didn’t allow a base runner in his four-inning outing out of the bullpen. He struck out five on the way to his second win. Ramirez, who needed just eight pitches to retire the game’s last three batters, earned his second save.
Jones allowed the lone run in the top of the second on Pinango’s solo shot to right field. The hit tied the game at 1-1, following Micah Pries’ RBI groundout in the bottom of the first.
Christian Cairo tripled on the first pitch of the Hillcats’ first at-bat and scored one batter later.
Lynchburg jumped back in front in the fifth, when Angel Martinez’s single scored Gabriel Rodirguez, who doubled and stole third earlier in the frame.
The two, hitting seventh and ninth in the lineup Thursday, each singled in the seventh. Martinez recorded his second RBI when Andres Melendez, who drew a one-out walk, scored to give the Hillcats a 3-1 margin.
Rodriguez led the Hillcats on the night, going 3 for 4 with a double and triple. Martinez was 2 for 3. Jonathan Rodriguez and Cairo each had one of Lynchburg’s seven hits.
Jose Albertos (1-1) took the loss. He gave up two runs (both earned) on four hits, walked two and struck out two.
The Hillcats and Pelicans will play Game 4 of the series at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Bank of the James Stadium.