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Myrtle Beach Pelicans Game Notes: May 20 at Frederick

May 20, 2019 - Carolina League (CarL) - Myrtle Beach Pelicans News Release

Today, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans continue their 11-game road trip and start a four-game series against the Frederick Keys (a Baltimore Orioles affiliate) with first pitch at 7:00 p.m. This evening, RHP Paul Richan (4-2, 3.22 ERA) starts for the Birds against RHP Brenan Hanifee (2-3, 5.70 ERA). Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on, TuneIn and the MiLB First Pitch app.



The Myrtle Beach Pelicans took their first extra-inning contest of the season on Sunday against the Lynchburg Hillcats, winning 5-4 in 10 innings from City Stadium. With runners at first and second in the 10th, Luke Reynolds singled to right and Cam Balego scored on a throwing error to give the Birds the lead. Ben Hecht (1-1) then induced a double play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th to send the Birds to victory. Wladimir Galindo and Kevonte Mitchell both blasted homers in the win.


Over the first 44 games of the season, the Birds have allowed 34 runs in the opening frame. On the offensive side, Myrtle Beach has scored 32 runs in the first inning themselves. Out of the total runs that have been scored in the games the Pelicans have played, 19.4 percent (76-of-391) have been scored in the first inning. There has been at least one first-inning run by either team in 15 of the last 23 games the Pelicans have played. The Birds and their opponents have gone scoreless in the first three innings only four times in the last 28 games and only eight times in their first 44 games.


There is no doubt that the pitching staff has helped to keep the Birds alive this season. When a Myrtle Beach starter has gone at least five innings, the Birds are 14-12. When the Pelicans receive a quality start, they are a strong 7-1. While the bullpen has struggled at times this season - they have allowed at least one run in 36 of the 44 games this year - when they do not cede a tally, the Pelicans are 7-1.


Kevonte Mitchell has been a monster at the plate for the Pelicans over the last nine games. During that stretch, he is hitting .333/.400/.800 with four home runs and 10 RBIs. His four long balls have come over his last seven contests. After hitting just four home runs all of last season, he has seven this season, which leads the Pelicans and is tied for third in the league. His career high is 11 dingers that he blasted in 2017 with Low-A South Bend.


On Monday, Pelicans starter Javier Assad was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for the second-consecutive week. Assad made one start in the first week, earning a no-decision at Down East with six shutout, one-hit innings. After allowing a base hit to lead off the game from Yonny Hernandez, he only walked two batters the rest of the way. On Wednesday against Winston-Salem, he tied a career high with seven innings, facing the minimum while striking out nine, walking one and only allowing an infield single. Assad leads all Pelicans starters and is fifth in the league with a 2.19 ERA. He has thrown 21.1 consecutive scoreless innings spanning over his last four starts. He is also the first pitcher in 2019 to win the award in back-to-back weeks and the first one since Lynchburg's Justin Garza won the award twice in a row to open up the 2018 season.


Tyler Payne has been on fire at the plate all season long for Myrtle Beach. On Saturday, he went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, giving him nine on the season to tie Jimmy Herron for the team high this year. Payne has reached safely in 22 of his last 24 games, hitting .319/.392/.451. Payne is leads the Pelicans or is tied for the team lead in batting average (.306), hits (30) and doubles (nine). After playing in just 13 games in 2018 due to a hip injury, Payne has played 28 games in 2019 entering Sunday's contest at Lynchburg.


Myrtle Beach reliever Jesus Camargo has been pitching well all season for the Birds. Only Ryan Kellogg has a better ERA out of the bullpen than Camargo's 2.52 mark. Following his 2.1 scoreless innings on Thursday, opponents are just hitting .172 off of the righty. Over his last eight outings, he has a 1.62 ERA (3 ER in 16.2 IP). Over that span, he has ceded just nine hits, whiffed 14 and walked nine.


The Pelicans starters have pitched very well over their last seven games. During that stretch, they own a 2.75 ERA (12 ER over 39.1 IP). Erling Moreno, Paul Richan and Javier Assad have especially enjoyed success over the last week, going a combined 3-1 with a 1.46 ERA (4 ER over 24.2 IP).


The Birds had five different players had two-hit games in Sunday's win over Lynchburg. Zach Davis, Cam Balego, Tyler Payne, Wladimir Galindo and Kevonte Mitchell all collected a pair of hits...In the series-opener against Frederick, the Pelicans only have one relief arm that is on more than two days of rest (Jesus Camargo)...Last night's 10-inning win marked the first extra-inning game for the Pelicans this season. It's the first since August 27, 2018 against Buies Creek and their first win in extras since August 21, 2018 when the Pelicans beat Winston-Salem.

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