The Hillcats went 4-3 over the past week, splitting a four-game series versus Carolina, and winning two of three games against Myrtle Beach. Matt Solter picked up two of the Hillcats’ wins, one against each opponent. Robert Broom picked up two saves before blowing the finale against Myrtle Beach on Sunday. The Hillcats’ record is now 21-19, good enough for second place behind Wilmington in the Carolina League’s Northern Division.
Solter looking strong After a strong performance this week, Solter is now 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA for Lynchburg. Solter started the season with AA Akron, making five starts and going 1-0 with a 3.51 ERA before joining the Hillcats. Solter’s starts against Carolina and Myrtle Beach this past week looked remarkably similar. In each start he pitched six strong innings, striking out seven and walking two in both games. He also gave up one earned run in each start to earn both wins. If the past week is any indication, the 25-year old righty should continue to find success with Lynchburg.
Oscar’s no slouch This past week was cause for celebration because it marked Oscar Gonzalez’s first walk of the SEASON – in the opening game last Monday against Carolina! Gonzalez also did what he does in that game – he went 2 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Gonzalez is now hitting .359 on the season, to go with OBP of .368 and OPS of .884. In other words, despite his lack of walks, he’s hitting the ball like crazy and getting on base at a great clip. Gonzalez has 31 strikeouts to go with his one walk, but he also has 55 hits and 30 RBI in 37 games this season. Gonzalez is no doubt a free swinger, but that swing is a sweet one and it’s winning games for the Hillcats. So Maseltov to Gonzalez’s first walk of the season. Here’s hoping he gets a few more, and in the mean time let’s continue to enjoy watching this guy hit.
Hillman with another strong start Juan Hillman had another strong start on Friday night against Myrtle Beach. Two days after the lefty’s 22nd birthday, he threw 6.2 innings of shutout baseball. Hillman struck out seven and walked only one batter. For the season, Hillman is now 1-4, but that record deceives the progress we are seeing from him this season. Hillman has a 3.02 ERA over eight games, with 32 strikeouts and 13 walks over 44.2 innings pitched. The young pitcher may finally be finding his groove, after a tough few seasons to start off his professional career.
Broom sweeping up saves As mentioned earlier, Broom picked up two saves and blew one this week. For the season, the 22-year old reliever has a 0.52 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, along with 25 strikeouts and eight walks over 17.1 IP. Broom is one of the relief pitchers who is rumored to be on the fast track through the Indians’ system. Last year Broom skipped short season Mahoning Valley and went straight to Low-A Lake County to start his professional career. The Indians then started him in High-A Lynchburg this season, where he has found success. If he keeps pitching well, look for him to move on to AA Akron before long.