Pelicans Pound Out 10 Runs, Hold On 10-8
WILMINGTON, DE - The Pelicans tied a season-high with 10 runs, was one off a season-high with 14 hits, and needed every insurance run they could get in a wild 10-8 victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks before 4,932 fans at Frawley Stadium Saturday night. Myrtle Beach took two of three from the Rocks for its first series win since winning three of four from Wilmington to begin the season April 5-8 and improved to 19-23 while the Blue Rocks slipped to 21-21.
Diory Hernandez got the Birds on the board with a two-run triple in the first, and after starter Moises Hernandez needed just six pitches to dispatch the Rocks in the bottom of the frame Myrtle Beach exploded for a season-high six runs and seven hits in the second. Roberto Alvarez led off the inning with a double, John Dallas Roberts singled him to third, and Derrick Arnold then lined a base hit to center to score Alvarez and make it 3-0. Quentin Davis then put down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance both runners to scoring position, and Jordan Schafer bounced a high chopper to left to score Roberts and Arnold. Back-to-back RBI doubles from Elvis Andrus and Matt Young made it 7-0, and Jose Camarena knocked Wilmington starter Blake Johnson from the game with a two-out run-scoring single to center to make it 8-0.
Wilmington began to rally immediately however, chipping away to score five unanswered runs. Brian McFall led off the second with a solo homer, an RBI triple and a sacrifice fly plated two runs in the third, and McFall scored on a wild pitch in the fourth to cut the deficit in half at 8-4. Wilmington then mounted a huge threat in the sixth, as Adam Stanley allowed two walks and two singles to make it 8-5 before departing with the bases loaded and nobody out after not retiring a hitter. Jorge Acosta came out of the bullpen into the toughest situation possible with the potential go-ahead run at the plate, but calmly struck out Jose Duarte and Marc Maddox before getting Mario Lisson to ground out to short to escape the threat and leave the bases loaded.
Myrtle Beach got an insurance run in the seventh on Diory Hernandez's RBI single to center and one more in the eighth on Roberto Alvarez's leadoff solo home run to make it 10-5, but the Blue Rocks weren't finished. Acosta walked the first two men he faced in the eighth before Nelson Payano relieved him, but after striking out Josh Johnson Payano walked the next two hitters to first load the bases and then force in a run. Lisson then took advantage of a hanging 0-2 slider and pounded a two-run single into center field to cut the margin to 10-8, but Payano fanned McFall and Wilver Perez to end the inning, and Kevin Gunderson polished things off with a scoreless ninth.
Moises Hernandez (6-2) moved into a first-place tie for wins in the Carolina League with five innings of four-run baseball, as he allowed six hits and two walks while striking out three. He also three two wild pitches, hit a batter, and committed a balk. Johnson (2-4) lasted just 1.2 innings and was roughed up for eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits. Gunderson's save was his fifth. Six Pelicans finished the contest with two-hit nights, while Andrus scored three runs and Diory Hernandez drove in three.
The Pelicans are off Sunday but return to action Monday night at Coastal Federal Field for a three-game series with the Winston-Salem Warthogs. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. with Dustin Evans (1-3, 5.27 ERA) taking the hill for Myrtle Beach. The game broadcast begins at 5:45 p.m. with the RSC Equipment Rental pre-game show on ESPN Radio the Team (93.7 FM and 1050 AM) and online at www.myrtlebeachpelicans.com, and fans are encouraged to take part in the 50's Night festivities. For more information, please call the Pelicans at (843) 918-6002.
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