May 15, 2013 - Carolina League (CarL) - Myrtle Beach Pelicans
MYRTLE BEACH, SC- With a 24-14 record, the first place Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Class- A Advanced, Texas Rangers) are off to their best start in more than five years on the Grand Strand. The 24 wins in the Pelican's first 38 games is the most since the team started the 2008 season 25-13.
"With four first round draft picks and six Baseball America Top 30 prospects on the opening day roster, we knew this would be a competitive team," Pelicans General Manager and Vice President Andy Milovich said. "This is one of the best starts in team history and fans have been treated to some great baseball at TicketReturn.com Field. It has become one of the best home field advantages in minor league baseball and it's a testament to the energy our fans and employees bring each night."
Entering play Wednesday, the Pelicans have the second most home wins in all of minor league baseball, trailing only the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians, who have started the season 18-4 on their home field. The Pelicans are 16-4 at Pelicans Ballpark and have won their last nine home games. Since the beginning of 2011, the Pelicans have won 100 games on their home field, more than any team in the Carolina League during that stretch.
"The fans and electricity in our ballpark is amazing and it really energizes our team," Milovich said.
The Pelicans recent seven-game winning streak was the longest going in affiliated baseball.
Manager Jason Wood is the only current Carolina League skipper to guide his team to back-to-back postseason berths in 2011 and 2012. The Pelicans have been in first place in the southern division since April 21st and boast the top pitching staff in the Carolina League.
The Pelicans 3.28 team ERA is the best mark in the Carolina League. Pitching has been a strength for the team in recent years. Myrtle Beach had the top earned run average in the Carolina League in 2012 and the second best ERA in 2011.
The Pelicans currently have two starting pitchers among the Carolina League's Top 10. First round draft pick Luke Jackson is seventh in the league with a 2.48 earned run average while his teammate, Nick Martinez, is eighth in the league with a 2.72 earned run average. Left-hander Victor Payano, the reigning Carolina League Pitcher of the Week, has the second most strikeouts in the league with 46.
The offense has supplied plenty of excitement this season, three times winning in walk-off fashion at Pelicans Ballpark. The last two home stands have featured a walk-off victory, including a three-run, game-winning home run against Potomac on April 27. It was the Pelicans first walk-off home run since the 2011 season.
First baseman Trever Adams leads the Carolina League and the Pelicans with 29 RBIs while 19-year-old second baseman Rougned Odor has 12 doubles, the second most in the league.
The Pelicans will seek their tenth straight home victory on Tuesday, May 21st when the Carolina Mudcats, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, come to TicketReturn.com Field to begin a three-game series. It will be a Team Tuesday presented by Sheriar Press and 100.3 The Team. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Rafael Furcal poster. May 22nd is another Wiener Wednesday presented by Hebrew National with $1 hot dogs all game long. Followed by Thirsty Thursday ($1 Bud and Bud Light Draughts from 6-8pm) on May 23rd. Tickets are available online at www.myrtlebeachpelicans.com or by calling 918-6000.