April 24, 2008 - Carolina League (CarL) - Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (11-9) vs. Salem Avalanche (10-9)
Thursday, April 24 -- 7:05 PM
BB&T Coastal Field -- Myrtle Beach, SC
Game #21, Home Game #10
TODAY\'S GAME AT A GLANCE: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans open a three-game set with the Salem Avalanche, eyeing their third straight victory. Last night, the Pelicans broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the seventh inning on the strength of a Brandon Hicks home run that sailed over the "Land Shark Landing" seating section. After allowing two runs in the first, Pelicans starter Gonzalo Lopez settled in and did not allow a hit in his next four innings of work.
TODAY\'S STARTING PITCHERS: The Pelicans will send Tommy Hanson to the mound for his fifth start overall start and second at BB&T Coastal Field. The Avalanche will counter with lefty David Qualben, who is making his fourth start of the year.
Hanson: Has been untouchable in each his first four outings. In 22.0 innings pitched, Hanson has allowed only five hits and one run (unearned). The right hander has struck out 32 batters and walked just six. Lefties are hitting a meager .063 against Hanson, while righties are hitting just slightly higher .079. Hanson is the reigning Carolina League pitcher of the week.
The Tulsa, Oklahoma native is the #9 rated prospect in the Atlanta Braves system according to Baseball America. Last season, Hanson pitched in 15 games for the Rome Braves (2-6, 2.59) and 11 games for the Pelicans (3-3, 4.20). Was named the Pitcher of the Year for the Rome Braves. Hanson was selected to the Sally League All-Star Team.
Qualben: In his three starts this season, Qualben has gone through the fourth inning in each of his starts. In 14.1 innings on the hill, Qualben has allowed 22 hits and 14 runs. Qualben has allowed four runs in each of his starts.
SCOUTING THE AVALANCHE: First baseman Mark Ori leads the Avalanche with a .344 batting average and 15 RBIs. His .344 average is good for fourth in the Carolina League, while his 15 RBIs lead the league. Third baseman Tim Torres is also among the league leaders in RBIs with 14 of his own.
HERNANDEZ HURT: Gorkys Hernandez suffered a hamstring injury in the bottom of the eighth inning as he turned around second base heading towards third. He left the game with the help of Trainer Greg Hall. Hernandez is expected to miss 2-3 weeks.
HEALTHY HICKS: Pelicans shortstop Brandon Hicks returned to the starting lineup on April 22nd after nearly 11 days away. Hicks was battling a nagging quadricep injury. The last time he played was on April 11th (home opener). Hicks went 2-4 with two RBIs. Last night (April 23rd), Hicks continued his hot play by hitting the eventual game-winning home run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Hicks recorded his third multi-hit game of the season.
ON THE LEADERBOARD: Right-hander Tommy Hanson has been the most dominant pitcher in the Carolina League through his first four starts. His historic run continued Saturday night as he worked six scoreless one-hit innings. Hanson currently leads the Carolina League in innings pitched prior to allowing an earned run (22 IP), strikeouts (32) and boasts two 11-inning scoreless inning streaks including his current string. The 21-year old has permitted just five hits this season. Hanson was named Carolina League Pitcher of the Week (4/14-4/20).