Pelicans Sweep Doubleheader, Take Five of Six at Salem
The Pelicans won both games against the Salem Red Sox on Sunday to win their second series of the season. For the first time this year, Myrtle Beach moves over the .500 mark at 13-11 with the two victories. The Red Sox fall to 12-12 after dropping five of six games.
Game One: The Pelicans secured their second series win of the season with a 4-0 win over Salem in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader. The shutout was also the first time Myrtle Beach has held a team scoreless this season.
The day belonged to Pelicans' starting pitcher Sam Thoresen, who went four scoreless innings only allowing two hits and a season-high seven strikeouts with two walks. Scott Kobos (2-0) picked up the win in relief with two innings of hitless baseball and three strikeouts.
Myrtle Beach has another impressive hitting performance with eight total hits and a multi-hit game from Fabian Pertuz (2-3, 2 RBI). Edmond Americaan (1-4, 2B) extended his hitting streak to eight straight games with a double, and Jordan Nwogu (1-3, HR) cranked his first professional home run to left field in the victory.
In their fourth loss of the series, Salem only collected three hits on the Pelicans' pitching staff. Stephen Scott (2-3, 2B) posted the only multi-hit game for a lineup that struck out 10 times.
The loss went to Red Sox starter Ryan Zeferjahn (0-3) after he allowed two earned runs on five hits through four innings.
In their first shutout victory of the season, the Birds used a pair of two-run innings to earn the victory. The Pelicans got the scoring started in their half of the third inning with Ethan Hearn leading off with a double to the left-centerfield wall. Kevin Made came up next and grounded a ball to third base that took a weird hop and he was able to get on with a single. Pertuz came up next and kept the train moving with a single to bring home Hearn and put Myrtle Beach up 1-0. After Americaan lined out to center and allowed Made to tag and advance to third, Flemin Bautista lofted a hit to centerfield that brought home Made and extended the Birds' lead to 2-0.
Nwogu led off the sixth inning with his first home run of the season with a line drive to deep left field. Jacob Wetzel followed with a walk and after the following two batters were retired, Pertuz doubled to bring home Wetzel for his second RBI of the day and the Pelicans added on to their lead at 4-0.
Eduarniel Nunez threw the final inning for Myrtle Beach and walked Nick Yorke to lead off the inning but retired the following three batters to wrap up the win for the Pelicans.
Game Two: A back-and-forth game landed in the Pelicans' hands in the second game on Sunday with an 8-4 win to sweep the doubleheader. The Birds scored four runs in the top of the seventh to break a 4-4 tie and leave Virginia with a victory.
Richard Gallardo started the game for Myrtle Beach and tossed four innings with two earned runs off five hits. He also struck out five and walked just one. The win went to the reliever Didier Vargas (1-1) after he threw the final two innings with just one hit allowed and two strikeouts.
For the fourth time in six games, the Pelicans collected double-digit hits in the performance with 11. Jacob Wetzel (2-4, 2 RBI, R) led the way with a pair of RBI singles. Yohendrick Pinango (2-4, 2B, R) and Matt Mervis (2-3, RBI, 2 R) also posted solid performances at the plate. Edmond Americaan (1-4, R) moved his hitting streak to nine-straight while Pablo Aliendo (1-3, RBI, R) also extended his hitting streak to five.
Nick Yorke (2-3, 2B, RBi, R) was the top Red Sox hitter on the afternoon and Jake MacKenzie (2-3) also had a multi-hit game in the loss. Jorge Rodriguez (2-3) took his second loss of the series on the mound after coming on in relief and throwing 3.2 innings. Rodriguez gave up eight hits and four earned runs, all in the top of the seventh inning.
After both teams were held scoreless through the opening frame, the Pelicans took a lead in the top of the second inning. Myrtle Beach loaded the bases after Mervis walked, Aliendo was hit by a pitch, and Jonathan Sierra singled. Wetzel came up and shot a base hit to left field to score Mervis and give the Pelicans a 1-0 lead. After Made grounded into a force-out, Pertuz grounded a ball through the hole in short to score Sierra. Bautista drew a two-out walk to plate Wetzel and the Pelicans had an early 3-0 lead.
Salem led off their half of the fourth with back-to-back doubles coming from Scott and Yorke to get their first run of the game. Wil Dalton grounded out to score Yorke and get the Red Sox closer at 3-2.
Myrtle Beach added one more in the top of the fifth after Bautista hit a one-out double to left field, and came home to score one batter later with a Pinango RBI double to left and the Birds were up by two runs 4-2.
Gallardo was replaced by Pelicans' reliever Bailey Reid in the bottom of the fifth inning and after retiring the first two batters, Reid walked Matthew Lugo to bring the tying run to the plate. Jaxx Groshans belted the first pitch of the at-bat to left field for a home run and the game was tied 4-4.
Both teams were quiet in the sixth inning, but the Pelicans came roaring back in the seventh. Americaan got his only hit of the game to lead off the inning, with Pinango singling two batters later. With runners at the corners and one out, Mervis lined a ball to right field to score the go-ahead run in Americaan and put Myrtle Beach in front 5-4. Aliendo came up next and punched a hit to left field to score Pinango, and after Dalton had trouble fielding it, Mervis came home to score and Aliendo got to second. The inning was capped off with Wetzel hitting a single to left to score Aliendo and the rally was complete with the Birds leading 8-4.
Vargas cleaned it up in the bottom of the seventh to secure his first win of the season.
With 18 of their first 24 games being played on the road to begin the season, the Pelicans will return home to Myrtle Beach for a six-game series with the Columbia Fireflies starting on Tuesday. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.
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