From staff reports
In Wilmington, Delaware, Lynchburg starter Kirk McCarty displayed a dominating form on the mound Tuesday night that has made him one of the Cleveland Indians’ top pitching prospects.
The only problem was Daniel Lynch recovered from a rough first inning, and that kept Wilmington within striking distance for Nick Pratto.
The Blue Rocks first baseman hit a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth inning to lift Wilmington to a 3-2 victory in the series opener at Frawley Stadium.
The loss snapped the Hillcats’ three-game winning streak.
Pratto crushed the first pitch of his at-bat against Jonathan Teaney (3-2) over the right-field wall to put the Blue Rocks ahead for good, and Tad Ratliff recorded his 22nd save in 27th chance by working around a two-out walk to Luke Wakamatsu for the scoreless frame.
McCarty struck out a season-high 10 and allowed only one hit through the first five innings.
However, Tyler Hill’s sixth-inning leadoff single and Pratto’s one-out double chased McCarty after 5 1/3 innings, and eventually led to the Blue Rocks tying the game.
Dakody Clemmer walked MJ Melendez to load the bases, and Christian Perez’s single to right scored Hill and Pratto to even the score at 2.
McCarty was credited with allowing those two earned runs on three hits and five walks.
Lynch allowed two first-inning runs on Tyler Freeman’s single and Will Benson’s groundout, but settled in and allowed only three baserunners over the next five innings.
The southpaw allowed five hits, struck out three and walked one in six innings.
Hillcats center fielder Steven Kwan, the Carolina League player of the week, went 2 for 5 with a first-inning run. Jodd Carter also had two hits.