Lynchburg, VA- The Pelicans finished out the series with a 5-1 victory against the Hillcats. Myrtle Beach was led by Kyle Hendricks complete game performance. Leading the offense for the Pelicans was Christian Villanueva. The storyline for the Hillcats was Tommy La Stella leaving the game after being drilled in the right ear by a Hendricks fastball. The all star second baseman blacked out momentarily. He suffered a mild concussion and swelling behind the ear but was alert when he was taken off the field.
Four the fourth consecutive game the Pelicans offense struck first. In the top of the first, with Chris Masters on the mound, the Pelicans took advantage. Back-to-back doubles by Hanser Alberto and Christian Villanueva scored the first run. Alberto scored on the Villanueva double to make it 1-0.
The top of the fourth would mark three consecutive innings Myrtle Beach would score a run. Vinny DiFazio started with a double and Tomas Telis was hit by a pitch. Eddie Garcia laid down his second sac bunt of the season to move the runners to second and third. After Santiago Chirino was intentionally walked. Josh Richmond produced with a sac fly out to left to move the score to 3-1 in favor of the Pelicans.
Lynchburg finally solved Hendricks, albeit briefly, in the bottom of the fourth inning. Tommy La Stella was the first person to reach in the inning, but it wasn't that simple. La Stella took a 1-2 fastball off the right ear hole from Hendricks. La Stella dropped to the ground immediately and banged his feet on the dirt in pain for three solid minutes before sitting up. After another moment or two, he was escorted off the field by the Hillcats trainer, Ty Cobbs. David Rohm entered for La Stella and took his spot at first.Chris Garcia and Edward Salcedo each followed with singles. The Salcedo single scored Rohm and the Hillcats cut the lead to 2-1.
A solo shot in the fifth by Villanueva made it 3-1 in favor of the Pelicans.
Cafe Martinez hit himself home in the top of the sixth. However, it wasn't a home run for the wiry outfielder. Martinez hit a line drive off the top of the left field wall that ricocheted back towards the middle of left field, Rohm, who moved to left after entering the game defensively, threw the ball to third to try to cut down Martinez, but it went under the gloves of both Bobby Stevens and Braeden Schlehuber. Martinez raced home to make it a 4-1 game.
The final run scored in the top of the seventh. Again, Villanueva was in the center of the action. He struck out, but reached on the wild pitch delivered by Hillcats' pitcher Ryne Harper. Villanueva then stole second and moved to third on a Brett Nicholas grounder to first. Finally, Villanueva would score on a DiFazio single to extend the lead to 5-1.
Hendricks (3-7) got the win in a complete game performance. He allowed just five hits that led to one run. The all-star also fanned six and walked one. Masters (0-3) stayed winless on the season with the 'Cats in the loss. He went six innings for the second consecutive game, but gave up four runs--three earned--on eight hits. Masters walked two and struck out three.
The 'Cats hit the road Thursday for a series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks.