Mudcats can’t hold lead in loss to Hillcats

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LYNCHBURG, Va. — A four-run lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning proved to be insufficient for the Carolina Mudcats on Wednesday night as host Lynchburg replied with six unanswered runs to post a 6-4 Carolina League victory at City Stadium.

The Mudcats (23-16) constructed a four-run lead with a pair of runs in each of the first and fifth innings. In the first, Payton Henry’s double scored Joantgel Segovia, who singles and a groundout by Mario Feliciano plated Tristen Lutz, who also singled.

Segovia added a run-scoring single in the fifth that plated Eddie Silva, who reached with a double. Segovia, the Mudcats’ leadoff hitter, was 3 for 5 with his RBI and a run scored.

But that margin began to disintegrate in the fifth against Carolina starter Noah Zavolas. Luke Wakamatsu had a three-run homer for Lynchburg (19-18) in the fifth, and the Hillcats tied it on Jose Vicente’s single in the sixth. Zavolas was chased without a decision in favor of Cody Beckman, who took the loss. Beckman yielded a triple to Lynchburg’s Jodd Carter in the seventh that drove in a run, and a Nolan Jones sacrifice fly capped the scoring.

Beckman (2-1) allowed three hits in the seventh, while Anthony Gose entered in the ninth to earn his second save. Brennan Bernandino allowed three Carolina hits and both runs in the fifth, but emerged with the win in relief. Steven Kwan and Oscar Gonzalez tallied three hits for Lynchburg.

The fourth and final game of the series is set for Thursday at 6:30 p.m.