The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, were victorious on Opening Day for the third consecutive season Friday night, topping the Wilmington Blue Rocks 6-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 5,112 at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
The Pelicans opened the scoring in the third, recording their first hit of the game on a Josh Richmond solo home run to left. Catcher Tomas Telis followed up with a solo shot of his own to lead off the fourth for a 2-0 lead.
Things really got crazy in the bottom of the fifth, with the Pelicans plating four runs, reaching their eventual 6-0 final. The offense started when starter Tyler Sample hit Richmond with one out. After getting Odubel Herrera to fly out, Sample was lifted in favor of Thomas Melgarejo. The lefty allowed the first five batters against him to reach.
Jared Hoying was the first of the five to reach, legging out an infield single. The ball was bobbled by second baseman Angel Franco before he threw it away. The error allowed Richmond to score from second, having been previously balked into scoring position, for a 3-0 lead. The switch hitting Telis then launched his second homer of the night, this time from the right side of the plate. The shot made it 5-0, scoring Hoying.
The last run of the fifth came in on a Vinny DiFazio double down the leftfield line. The hit was well earned, coming on the 10th pitch of his at-bat.
Telis finished 2-4 with two home runs and three RBI. Richmond went 2-3 and Jake Skole went 2-3 with a walk.
On the mound the Pelicans dominated, tossing a four-pitcher combined shutout. Cody Buckel went the first four innings, striking out seven while allowing two hits. Randy Henry earned the win in relief, with Chad Bell and Joe Van Meter throwing as well. The quartet struck out 13 Wilmington batters.
The Pelicans return to action Saturday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark at 7:05 vs. Wilmington. Roman Mendez throws against Jason Adam.
- Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans