GreenJackets Take Two from Pelicans on a Doubleheader Thursday
For the first time this season, the Pelicans were swept in a doubleheader set. With the two losses, Myrtle Beach how now lost four straight games, the most this season.
Game One: The GreenJackets unloaded for 14 runs on 11 hits in a seven-inning ballgame to beat the Pelicans 14-6. The loss was the third straight for Myrtle Beach as the Pelicans dropped to 15-16. Augusta improved to 15-17 with the game one victory.
Taking the mound for the Birds was the Cubs' Minor League Pitcher of the Month for May in DJ Herz (0-1). The lefty had his worst outing of the season, taking the loss after nine earned runs off four hits through 2.2 innings. Herz saw his ERA jump from 0.56 to 4.82 in his sixth game started this season.
The Pelicans were able to collect 10 hits in the losing effort with three players posting multi-hit games. Ezequiel Pagan (2-4, 2B, 2 R), Jacob Wetzel (2-3, RBI), and Fabian Pertuz (2-2, R) all gathered two hits apiece with Luis Verdugo (1-3, 2 RBI, R) picking up his fourth and fifth RBIs in his last three games.
Roddery Munoz (1-1) earned the win with over five innings pitched allowing all six runs on 10 hits. Munoz struck out two with just one walk.
The 11-hit performance was led by Landon Stephens (3-4, 2B, RBI, R) with his second three-hit contest of the season. Seven different GreenJackets brought home at least one run with Brandon Parker (1-3, HR, 2 RBI) hitting a two-run home run in the second inning.
The Birds took advantage of the opening frame by getting on the board first. Pagan came up with one out and turned on a pitch down the right-field like for extra-bases. Pagan advanced to third after Yohendrick Pinango grounded out, and he was hit home by a Matt Mervis single to put Myrtle Beach up 1-0.
Augusta answered right back in the bottom half with a one-out Vaughn Grissom single. Stephens followed with another single to get Grissom to third, where he was hit in by Willie Carter flying out to right field for a sacrifice fly to even the game at one.
The GreenJackets rattled Herz in the second inning. After Javier Valdes flew out to begin the inning, Stephen Paolini was hit by a pitch to put a runner on. Parker came up and took an 0-2 pitch over the left-field wall for a two-run home run, the first given up by Herz this season. Augusta took the lead 3-1 after two innings.
The contest proved to be a slugfest when Myrtle Beach put two more runs on the board in the next half-inning. Fabian Pertuz led off with a single to left field. Flemin Bautista flew out following the single, but Pagan came up and reached base for the second time on a bunt single that put two runners on for the Birds. After a wild pitch by Munoz, the Pelicans had two runners in scoring position and just one out. Pinango grounded out to first base to plate Pertuz, and Munoz threw his second wild pitch of the inning that allowed Pagan to score the tying run.
Augusta broke the game open in the bottom of the third inning with six runs, the most allowed in an inning by the Pelicans this season. Vaughn Grissom drew a one-out walk on Herz and Stephens followed with a single to left-center to put two runners on base. After Carter walked to load the bases, Valdes was hit by a pitch to plate the first run of the inning and put the GreenJackets back in front 4-3. Herz threw a wild pitch in the at-bat following as one more run came across, and Paolini flew out to left field to bring home the third run of the inning. Parker came up next and became the third hit batter by Herz in the game and Braulio Vasquez walked to load the bases back up. The plug was pulled on Herz as Jake Reindl came on in relief, and immediately game up a single to Cam Shepherd that scored two runs. Cade Bunnell capped off the monster inning with a double through the hole at short to score Vasquez and open up the lead to 9-3 Augusta after three innings.
Augusta tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth for insurance. Reindl gave up three straight hits to begin the fourth with Paolini dealing the biggest blow with an RBI double to score Carter. Reindl then balked with a runner on third to score Valdes and the GreenJackets lead was 11-3.
In the fifth, it was Shepherd leading it off by getting hit with a pitch from Reindl. Bunnell came up next and reached base on a ground ball to second base that was thrown wild to first by Flemin Bautista. Grissom then singled home Shepherd, and Stephens doubled to center to score Bunnell for the second run of the inning. Valdes capped off the inning with a sacrifice fly to left field that plated Grissom and the route was on at 14-3 in favor of the home team.
With the score out of reach, Myrtle Beach put up a three-spot in the top of the sixth. Pinango led off with a walk and got to third when Jordan Nwogu doubled in the right field gap to put two runners in scoring position. Verdugo followed with a single back up the middle to score both runners, his second multi-RBI performance in his last three games. Verdugo came around to score on a Jacob Wetzel single up the middle to make it a 14-6 ball game.
Game Two: Augusta scored six unanswered runs after trailing 7-2 to sweep the doubleheader with an 8-7 win in the second game. The Pelicans fell to 15-17 with their fourth-straight loss, a new season-high. The GreenJackets improved to 16-17 with the two victories on Thursday night and have now taken the first three games of the series.
The Pelicans gathered 10 hits for the evening, four better than the winning team. Pinango (3-5, 2 2B, RBI, R) posted his first three-hit game of the season. Pagan (2-4, 3B, RBI, R) and Ryan Reynolds (2-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) also helped the Pelicans' lineup with multiple hits.
Gabriel Jaramillo (1-1) took the loss after pitching just over an inning in relief and giving up the go-ahead run. LHP Adam Laskey started the game for Myrtle Beach, tossing three innings with three earned runs off two hits.
The GreenJackets came together for just six hits, led by Victor De Hoyos (2-4, HR, RBI, 2 R) and Landon Stephens (1-2, HR, 3 RBI). Stephens also drew the walk that allowed the go-ahead run to score in the bottom of the fifth inning.
RHP Justin Yeager (3-0) had the most effective appearance coming out of the bullpen, with five strikeouts through 1.2 innings and just one hit allowed as he earned his third win of the season. RHP Kenny Wells closed out the game for his second save of the year, as he walked the bases loaded in the final frame but was able to keep the tying run at third base.
For the second time on Thursday night, the Pelicans led the game off with a run in the first inning. This time, it was Pinango hitting a double and later advancing to third on a wild pitch by GreenJackets' starter Estarlin Rodriguez. After Verudo walked, Mervis flew out to center field that gave Pinango enough time to tag up and score the game's first run.
Augusta would answer in the first inning again and take the lead with two runs off starter Laskey. After the left-hander struck out the first batter, Grissom hit a single to right field for the home team's first hit. On the first pitch of his at-bat, Stephens smoked a ball to left field for a two-run home run, his first of the season and Augusta took a 2-1 lead.
The Birds would make that lead short-lived as Myrtle Beach put up two more in the second. Reynolds hit a bloop single to center field with one out to get on base. After Bautista flew out for the second out, Pagan hit his first triple of the season to the center-field wall that scored Reynolds. Pagan came home as Pinango hit a line drive back up the middle for an RBI single and the Pelicans took a 3-2 lead.
Four more runs came across the plate for Myrtle Beach as the lead grew in the top of the third. Mervis led off the inning with a hard-hit ball to right field for a single, and Pablo Aliendo reached on a fielder's choice that was misplayed at third by Grissom as Mervis got to second. Reliever Miguel Pena threw a wild pitch to advance both runners to scoring position and had another throw go wild that scored Mervis. Aliendo came home on a ground ball single from Jonathan Sierra to extend the Pelicans' lead to 5-2. The game broke open when Reynolds hit a no-doubt two-run home run to right field for his second of the season, and Myrtle Beach had a 7-2 lead in the middle of the third. Those were the last runs they would score.
Augusta started their comeback slowly with a run in the bottom half of the third. Grissom and Stephens both reached base with a walk and hit-by-pitch to start off the inning. Both runners would move up on a Carter groundout, and Laskey threw a wild pitch that allowed Grissom to cross home and make it a 7-3 game.
The GreenJackets made it a brand-new ballgame in the fourth. Jose Miguel Gonzalez came into the game for the Pelicans and suffered a solo home run off the bat of De Hoyos on a 3-2 count to open his outing. After three straight walks to load the bases with nobody out, Gonzalez came out in favor of Jaramillo, and he walked Grissom to plate a run to make the score 7-5. Jaramillo got Stephens to ground into a force out at home for the first out but gave up a two-run single that lined into left field to Carter that tied the game at seven. The go-ahead run was left at third as Jaramillo struck the following two batters out.
The pitching continued to struggle for Myrtle Beach as Jaramillo gave up a single and two walks in the bottom of the fifth inning to load the bases with just one out. Manager Buddy Bailey pulled Jaramillo in favor of Bailey Reid, and after striking out the first batter he faced, Reid would walk Stephens to score the go-ahead run and Augusta took an 8-7 lead.
The Pelicans would come close to taking the lead back in the top of the sixth after Pagan struck out to begin the inning but reached on the dropped third strike. Pinango hit a ground-rule double down the left-field line to move both runners in scoring position, and Mervis was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. With the pressure building, Yeager sat down Aliendo and Jacob Wetzel with two-straight strikeouts to leave the bases loaded and the Pelicans were silenced.
The bases were loaded again in the seventh and final inning with one out for Myrtle Beach, but Pinango flew out and Verdugo struck out to end the ballgame.
Myrtle Beach and Augusta will meet tomorrow for the fourth game of the series with first pitch coming at 7:05 p.m.
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