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Myrtle Beach Pelicans Game Notes: July 14 vs. Lynchburg

July 14, 2019 - Carolina League (CarL) - Myrtle Beach Pelicans News Release

Today, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans play a doubleheader against the Lynchburg Hillcats (a Cleveland Indians affiliate) with the first game at 5:05 p.m. This evening, RHP Paul Richan (8-4, 4.06 ERA) starts for the Birds against LHP Hector Hernandez (1-2, 2.48 ERA) in the primary contest while the finale will feature LHP Ryan Kellogg (2-5, 4.09 ERA) against LHP Juan Hillman (3-9, 4.17 ERA). Coverage begins at 4:50 p.m. on,, TuneIn and the MiLB First Pitch app.



Tyler Payne crushed a pair of home runs in the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 9-4 win over the Potomac Nations on Friday to capture a series win from TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. For the first time in his career, Payne hit two homers in the same game. After a three-run blast in the fourth, he hit a solo shot in the seventh. The Birds tied a season high with a six-run inning in the fourth. In his start, Javier Assad (W, 3-6) earned the win, allowing four runs over five innings while striking out six. Enrique De Los Rios and Ryan Lawlor combined for four scoreless innings out of the bullpen in the win.


Pelicans catcher Tyler Payne hit two home runs in Friday's win over the Potomac Nationals. It was the first time in his career that he had belted a pair of long balls in the same contest. After a three-run shot in the fourth inning, he hammered a solo homer in the seventh. He also tied a career-best four RBIs on the day. The Hurricane, W.Va. native became the second Bird to do so this season, joining D.J. Wilson, who did so on June 27 at Fayetteville. Payne has been rather streaky for the Pelicans, but his hits have come in bunches. His last four games with hits have been multi-hit games.


Jimmy Herron has been on fire at the plate for the Pelicans. The Birds outfielder is hitting .342 (13-for-38)/

.350/.474 with three doubles and a triple over his last nine games. In his last 23 games, he is also hitting .310/.374/.379 to raise his batting average from .198 to .230. His OPS has also raised from .633 to .668. Over that span, he has eight multi-hit games. Herron has flipped back and forth between the leadoff spot and the second spot in the order, making 21 starts at the top of the order and 34 starts in the two hole, but he has started in the three hole the last four games. He has also hit righties much better than lefties, owning a .251/.354/.357 slashline against right-handers versus .179/.247/.310 against lefties.


The Pelicans have dominated on the mound over their last 11 games, allowing just 28 earned runs over 94.2 innings (2.66 ERA). That ERA ranks second in the Carolina League over the last 10 games. Paul Richan, Ryan Kellogg, Erich Uelmen, Erick Leal, Jack Patterson, Javier Assad and Alexander Vargas were strong in their starts, allowing just 16 earned runs collectively over 67.2 combined frames (2.13 ERA), striking out 57. Today's starter, Richan, owns a 2.08 ERA over July in his two starts. When the bullpen does not allow a run, the Birds are 20-10.


The Pelicans are back home for a nine-game homestand against the Down East Wood Ducks, Potomac Nationals and Lynchburg Hillcats. It's the longest homestand of the season for the Birds. It also ends a stretch of 26 games in a row after the All-Star Break and 12-of-15 games in TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. On the year, Myrtle Beach is 19-29 at home and 14-27 on the road. The Pelicans have pitched much better in Myrtle Beach, owning a 3.73 ERA on the Grand Strand versus a 5.03 ERA away from South Carolina. Paul Richan (4-2 with a 2.35 ERA at home) and Erich Uelmen (2-1, 1.84 ERA at home) have taken advantage the most.


Pelicans second baseman Carlos Sepulveda has been one of the best defensive players in the Carolina League this season. Over 245 total chances, Sepulveda has just committed one error. Among Carolina Leaguers in any position who have played at least 52 games, Sepulveda's .996 fielding percentage leads the league. Only one qualified catcher (Mike Rivera, Lynchburg) and four outfielders have a higher fielding percentage in the Carolina League than Sepulveda has at second base. The 22-year-old missed part of 2017 and all of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury before returning to the diamond in 2019.


Pelicans righty Paul Richan has been a strong pitcher for the Birds this season. The team's win leader with eight, Richan has thrown well over his last few starts. After owning a 8.7 percent walk rate through his first five starts (9 BB in 23.2 IP, 103 PA), he has a 3.3 percent walk rate over his last nine starts (7 BB over 46.2 IP, 210 PA). In his first five starts, he had a 14.5 percent strikeout rate (15 K in 23.2 IP, 103 PA) while that has increased to 26.2 percent (55 K over 46.2 IP, 210 PA) in his last nine starts.


Pelicans reliever Garrett Kelly threw two more scoreless innings on Tuesday, running his streak to 12-consecutive scoreless...Miguel Amaya (.345) and Jimmy Herron (.311) lead the way for the Pelicans in batting average in July... Cam Balego and Kevonte Mitchell are tied for a team-high 10 home runs. It is also tied for fourth in the Carolina League. Balego's seven home runs at home is tied for the second most in the league as well.

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