Late Runs Propel WilmingtonJuly 9, 2012 - Carolina League (CarL) Wilmington Blue Rocks
The Rocks grabbed the lead in the seventh inning. With one out, Whit Merrifield worked a walk against Pelicans reliever Joe Van Meter. Orlando Calixte slashed one to short left field, sending Merrifield to third base. Cheslor Cuthbert smoked a single to center which broke the tie and made it 3-2.
They poured it on in the ninth inning. With two outs, Roman Hernandez and Geulin Beltre reached base and made it runners at first and third. Shortly thereafter, Beltre took off for second base and Pelicans catcher Tomas Telis was burned by a pass ball. Hernandez scored on the play and made it 4-2. Moments later, Merrifield bashed a homer into the left field Pelicans bullpen and doubled the lead to 6-2.
Sam Runion picked up his fourth save for Wilmington, tossing two innings of shutout ball, allowing just one hit.
The Pelicans struck in the first inning against Wilmington starter Matt Ridings. A bouncing ball down the chalk line from Odubel Herrera put him at second with a double. A groundout from Hanser Alberto and a fly ball from Brett Nicholas made it 1-0 Pelicans.
In the fourth, the Rocks responded against Myrtle Beach starter Randol Rojas. With one out, Lane Adams blasted an arcing homer into the Pelicans left field bullpen to tie the game at one. After Kevin David was hit by a pitch with two outs, Hernandez smoked his first triple of the season deep into the alley in right field to give Wilmington the lead at 2-1.
Myrtle Beach got a tally back in the sixth inning. With two outs, Herrera got on base with a walk and moved to second on a balk from Ridings. Alberto swatted a ball into left field that handcuffed Beltre as the ball got by him, scoring Herrera to make the score 2-2.
The Rocks have an off day on Tuesday before the Potomac Nationals come in for a four-game series that begins on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Wilmington's RHP Brooks Pounders (1-2, 6.08) will meet Potomac's LHP Robbie Ray (3-5, 4.87). Broadcast coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. as studio host Rob Szczepanik brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
In the first half, the Blue Rocks scored just 227 runs for a league-low 3.2 runs/game average. Despite playing two seven-inning games and posting a sum of one run between the bookend games of last week, Wilmington has scored 108 runs over its first 19 games of the second stanza for an average of 5.7 runs/game. The team that hit 31 home runs over the 70-game first half, the second-lowest total in the league, has bashed 25 early in the second. The Blue Crew hit a league-worst .231 in the first half, but owns a .270 (181-for-670) contact clip so far this half.
After closing a run of 13 straight games against only divisional foes at 7-6, the Rocks record against Southern Division squads dipped to 18-36 after Monday's triumph. They are 19-16 against their brothers in the North.
Wilmington has not had its starter collect a winning decision since Brooks Pounders' earned his lone triumph on June 26 at Potomac. In fact, that's the team's only win by a starting pitching since Sugar Ray Marimon went to 4-0 with a victory against Carolina. Since Sugar's success, the team has played 31 games, going 10-21 in that time. It is no coincidence that three starters suffered injuries at the start of his long one-win run. Santiago Garrido, Greg Billo and Leondy Perez have all been on the shelf since suffering their respective injuries over a six-day span from June 2-8.
Two of the three Rocks wins in the second half have come when they've scored six runs. Monday's output (along with the game on June 28 vs. LYN) was the most they've scored in a home victory since they hung seven runs on the Potomac Nationals on May 21.
The Blue Rocks have added another pitcher to their staff in the form of RHP Andy Ferguson. He joined the team from Idaho Falls late on Monday night and will be added to the active roster on Tuesday. He will go directly into the Blue Rocks rotation and start Thursday's game against Potomac.
The two hits allowed ties the fewest Wilmington has allowed all season. It had happened twice before, with the latest coming on June 4 at Frawley Stadium against Carolina. Matt Ridings allowed one in his first Blue Rocks start and Sam Runion surrendered a knock as well.
The Blue Rocks had hit 52 home runs overall coming into the Myrtle Beach series. They hit four taters over the course of the three-game set. They had hit all of five homers at Frawley Stadium in the first 39 games at home this year, before knocking four out of the park over the last three days.
Carolina League Stories from July 9, 2012
- Early Rally Not Enough, 'Cats Fall 5-3 - Lynchburg Hillcats
- Late Runs Propel Wilmington - Wilmington Blue Rocks
- Four-Run Fifth Sends Dash to Series Win - Winston-Salem Dash
- Karns Strong as P-Nats Drop Mudcats - Carolina Mudcats
- Salem Crushes Three Bombs in Shutout Win - Salem Red Sox
- Frederick Sweep Attempt Falls Short - Frederick Keys
- Myrtle Falters Late in 6-2 Loss at Wilmington - Myrtle Beach Pelicans
- P-Nats Take Wild Rubber Match over Carolina - Potomac Nationals
- Blue Rocks Game Notes - Wilmington Blue Rocks
- Cody Martin Named CL "Pitcher of the Week" for Second Time this Season - Lynchburg Hillcats
- Aaron Baker, Once Again, Named Carolina League Player of the Week - Frederick Keys
- Lynchburg Hillcats Game Notes - Lynchburg Hillcats
- Blue Rocks Alumni Shine in Futures Game - Wilmington Blue Rocks
- Toys for Tots Night at BB&T Ballpark - Winston-Salem Dash
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