Pelicans Score Six Unanswered, Win Game Four against the GreenJackets
After dropping four straight games, the Pelicans rebounded to win 6-2 in the fourth game of the series against the Augusta GreenJackets on Friday night. The win brings Myrtle Beach back to 16-17, while the GreenJackets drop to 16-18. The two teams flip again in the Low-A East, South division standings with the Pelicans back in the third spot and the GreenJackets holding the fourth position.
After tailing 2-0 at the end of the first, the Pelicans rallied back for six unanswered runs. Yohendrick Pinango (3-5, R) posted his second multi-hit game against the GreenJackets, with Luis Verdugo (1-4, HR, RBI, 2 R) hitting his first home run of the season. The Pelicans have now totaled 31 hits in the last three games against Augusta.
RHP Didier Vargas (2-1) took the win with just under three scoreless innings pitched in relief with only one hit allowed, three walks, and three strikeouts. Starter Sam Thoresen went 3.1 innings with two earned runs and a career-high-tying seven strikeouts but was pulled in his fourth inning of work with an apparent injury. RHP Tyler Suellentrop picked up his second save of the season by getting the final out of the game with the bases loaded.
The GreenJackets collected just five hits for the evening, with Brandon Parker (1-2, 2B, 2 RBI) driving home both runs. Starting pitcher Tanner Gordon (0-1) took the loss in his first game for the GreenJackets after tossing five innings with three earned runs off six hits.
For the third game in a row, the GreenJackets scored in their half of the opening frame. After Cade Bunnell walked to lead off the inning and Vaughn Grissom hit a single to right field, Thoresen retired the next two batters with strikeouts. Stephens came up and smacked a line drive to right-center field to score both runners and put Augusta up front 2-0.
It didn't take long for Myrtle Beach to tie things up as the Pelicans answered with two runs in the top half of the second inning. Jordan Nwogu led off with a single and advanced into scoring position by stealing second base. Verdugo drew a walk which allowed Ryan Reynolds to bring home Nwogu on a single and advance Verdugo to third. After Jonathan Sierra struck out, Verdugo came home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ezequiel Pagan to tie the game at two.
The third inning was quiet for both teams, but the Pelicans took a 3-2 lead in their half of the fourth when Verdugo came up with the bases empty and took a 2-2 pitch from Gordon over the left-field wall for his first home run of the season.
Myrtle Beach added insurance with runs in the sixth, eighth, and ninth innings. Jonathan Sierra knocked home a run with a single in the sixth inning to make the lead 4-2. Sierra would bring in another run by reaching base on a throwing error by Bunnell at third that allowed Reynolds to cross home in the eighth. In the ninth inning, it was Matt Mervis driving a ball to left-center field for a double that scored Pinango and lengthened the Birds' lead to 6-2.
Augusta threatened a late comeback in the final inning with Jarod Wright on the mound for the Pelicans. After the first batter was retired, Cam Shepherd hit a single to left field for the first baserunner. Bunnell struck out following the hit and the GreenJackets were down to their final chance. Grissom drew a walk on Wright, and that would be the final straw. Suellentrop came into the game out of the bullpen and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate in Javier Valdes. Augusta's catcher struck out swinging to end the ballgame with the bases juiced.
Myrtle Beach and Augusta will begin the weekend with the fifth game of the series on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. The GreenJackets lead the series three games to one.
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