Pelicans Hang on to Win Series Opener over Charleston
After the Charleston RiverDogs mounted a comeback when the Myrtle Beach Pelicans went up 8-1, the Birds hung on to win 8-6 in Tuesday's series opener. The win is the ninth for Myrtle Beach over Charleston this year and pushes them back over .500 at 55-54. The RiverDogs drop to 77-32 with the loss.
Both teams collected nine hits as Kevin Made (2-5, HR, 4 RBI) crushed his first home run of the season on a grand slam in the fourth inning. It was the Pelicans' second grand slam of the season and first since Jonathan Sierra against Columbia on August 3rd. Owen Caissie (1-4, 2 RBI) also brought home two runs on a single in the third. Jordan Nwogu (3-5) continued his tear with a three-hit game, his third multi-hit game in a row.
Richard Gallardo (3-8) worked five solid innings against the top-hitting team in the league with one earned run off three hits. He also struck out four with two walks. Riley Martin came in after and gave up two home runs accounting for four earned runs in his 1 1/3 innings of work as the RiverDogs rallied. Jarod Wright slammed the door out of the bullpen as he collected his third save of the year with no runs allowed through 2 2/3 innings with two strikeouts.
The two Charleston home runs were from Patrick Merino (1-4, HR, 3 RBI) and Johan Lopez (1-3, HR, RBI) with both coming in the sixth inning. Oslevis Basabe (3-5, 2B, RBI) led the team in hits while knocking in a run.
Four pitchers threw in the series opener for the home team with starter Ben Brecht (5-3) taking the loss after allowing eight runs, seven being earned off eight hits in the opening four frames. Three pitchers out of the bullpen held Myrtle Beach scoreless through the final five innings. The RiverDogs also posted five errors in the field in the loss.
Charleston started out with the lead as Matt Dyer led off the bottom of the second by reaching base and getting to second on a fielding error by third baseman Fabian Pertuz. After moving to third on a groundout, Dyer was brought home on a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Embry.
The Pelicans quickly responded with a three-run third. Christian Franklin doubled with one out and moved to third on a single by Made, who would reach second at the end of the play. After Nwogu struck out, Caissie looped a fly ball to shallow left that scored both runs and gave Myrtle Beach a 2-1 lead. Caissie scored on a double by newcomer Felix Stevens to left field. It was Stevens' first hit in a Pelicans uniform.
With a 3-1 lead, the Birds would pack it on with a five-run fourth. Pertuz led off with a walk and Casey Opitz followed by dropping down a bunt and reaching first safely on a fielding error by Lopez at third. With two runners on, Josue Huma dropped a bunt down and reached first to load the bases. After Christian Franklin walked to bring in a run, Made hit his first home run of the season with a no-doubt grand slam to left field to make it an 8-1 Pelicans lead.
The RiverDogs started their comeback with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Lopez walked with one out and Luis Leon followed with a double to left to put two runners in scoring position. Lopez scored on a groundout to shortstop by Basabe.
Four more runs came in on two home runs by Charleston in the bottom of the sixth. As Martin came in for the Pelicans, Tanner Murray and Dyer both hit singles to start the inning. After Beau Brundage struck out and Embry grounded out to advance the runners, Merino drove a ball to right field and just over the glove of Stevens for his third home run of the season. Lopez followed with a solo homer to left-center field that bounced off the top of the ball to make it an 8-6 Pelicans lead.
Charleston had the tying run come to the plate in the seventh and eighth innings but failed to score on Wright.
Game two between the Pelicans and the RiverDogs is scheduled for Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.
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Low-A East League Stories from September 7, 2021
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