Photo credit: Gary Streiffer/Courtesy Lynchburg Hillcats

The Lynchburg Hillcats continued to remain competitive this week. They split the last four games with Columbia and won the opening two games against Carolina. The Wednesday win against Carolina propelled the Hillcats into first place in the Carolina League North Division.

Immediately the Hillcats will have to defend first place as Carolina is just a half game back. Carolina is in town through Sunday. Holding onto first place is especially important this year as the four team playoff is comprised of the division leaders from the each half of the season.

Lynchburg continues to lead the Carolina League in walks and on base percentage. The pitching staff has the third best ERA, the second most strikeouts and is tied for first in WHIP as they currently hold a 1.23 WHIP. Interestingly enough the Hillcat pitchers have the least hit batters in the Carolina League as they’ve only hit 14 batters this season.

Day by Day

5/26 W 6-0 vs Columbia
5/27 L 3-1 vs Columbia
5/28 W 3-2 vs Columbia
5/29 L 3-2 vs Columbia
5/31 W 4-2 vs Carolina
6/1 5-3 W vs Carolina

Prospect of the Week

1B/C Victor Planchart: 6-15, RBI, BB – .400/471/.400

Planchart had a very productive week racking in six base hits. He led a Hillcat offense that was not as high powered that it has been this year. The RBI that Planchart was credited for was a big one as it was a walkoff single in extra innings. This was Planchart’s second walk off hit this season.

Planchart has stepped up in a huge way for the Hillcats on defense. He is filling the role of Will Bartlett and playing out of position at first base. Typically a catcher, Planchart has been solid at first base and could rotate between the two positions even when Bartlett returns.

Who’s Hot

SS Dayan Frias: 4-19, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K – .211/.348/.579

Frias had an interesting week at the plate. He racked in extra base hits but the strikeouts are a concern. His home run was a first inning grand slam June 1 against the Carolina Mudcats. This was crucial in picking up the win in game 2 of the series with Carolina and putting the Hillcats in first place in the Carolina League North Division.

OF Jorge Burgos: 5-19, 2B, RBI, 4 BB, 2 SB – .263/.417/.400

Burgos has been solid all year at the plate. He continues to get on base and put the Hillcats in good positions offensively. Defensively, he is a solid glove in the outfield.

LHP Will Dion: 5 IP, 7 K, 2 BB

Will Dion was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for a reason. He dominated his start on May 29 striking out seven and only walking two. The lone hit that Dion gave up was a close call between error or hit. Dion has only allowed two hits in his last 15 innings pitched and holds a 1.41 ERA this year.

RHP Hugo Villalobos: 3 IP, 6 K

Hugo Villalobos pitched three innings of relief and dominated the appearance. He struck out the side in two of his three innings and only allowed one hit. Villalobos has 26 strikeouts in 18 innings pitched this season for the Hillcats.

RHP Jack Leftwich: 5 IP, 10 K, ER

Jack Leftwich not only had his longest appearance of the season but his 10 strikeouts are a season high. He is up to 46 strikeouts on the year with a 1.97 ERA in nine appearances.

Who’s Not

3B/SS Milan Tolentino: 2-15, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K – .133/.300/.133

Milan Tolentino had a rare off week at the plate. He only mustered two hits and struck out six times. His defense hurt his performance this week too as he leads the Hillcats in errors. Although he had an off week he still leads the Hillcats in virtually every offensive category.

RHP Reny Artiles: 2.2 IP, ER, 5 BB

Reny Artiles didn’t allow a hit in his appearance this week but he walked five batters. Artiles lacked control and couldn’t find the strike zone. This seemed as more of an off day than something to be concerned about.

Transactions

SS Junior Sanquintin assigned to Lynchburg Hillcats from ACL Guardians.

Up Next

6/2-6/5 vs Carolina

6/7-6/8 at Fredericksburg 

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