Baez blasts Pelicans past Hillcats to even up series

Jeffrey Baez reached base three times and hit a two-run home run to lead the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to a 6-4 win over the Lynchburg Hillcats Saturday at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

The Pelicans (23-18) got the offense going quickly in a scoreless game in the bottom of the first. With one out, Gleyber Torres socked a triple to the wall in right-center. Ian Happ followed with a single off the glove of the shortstop to get Myrtle Beach on the board. After a Yasiel Balaguert single, Jason Vosler flied out to deep left to plate Happ and make it 2-0 Pelicans. The next batter was Baez, who clubbed a towering two-run home run off the scoreboard in left-center to open up a 4-0 lead.

With the Pelicans still up 4-0 in the fourth, Baez connected on a single before stealing second. Two batters later, Trey Martin rolled an RBI single up the middle to score Baez. After an out, Rashad Crawford pulled a single into right, allowing Martin to score and make it 6-0 Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach starting pitcher Jake Stinnett (4-0) was outstanding for the first four innings, allowing just one hit and striking out four.

In a 6-0 game in the top of the fifth, Hillcats (28-14) right fielder David Armendariz doubled before advancing to third on a Daniel Salters single. Mark Mathias followed and bounced into a double play, allowing Armendariz to score and get Lynchburg on the scoreboard.

After Stinnett walked Yu-Cheng Chang to begin the sixth, Lynchburg first baseman Bobby Bradley delivered a two-run home run to right, cutting the Pelicans lead to 6-3.

With the same score in the top of the eighth, Chang singled before the Birds turned to reliever Jordan Minch. Bradley then doubled off Minch to advance Chang to third. After Minch struck out Mike Papi, Jose Rosario came in to pitch for Myrtle Beach. Paul Hendrix drove home Chang with a sacrifice fly to make the score 6-4, but Rosario got Armendariz to groundout and end the threat.

Things didn’t get any easier for Rosario in the ninth. After retiring the first two batters, Greg Allen singled before the next two batters drew walks. With the tying run at second and two outs, Rosario got Bradley swinging at strike three to end the game and seal the 6-4 Pelicans victory.

With the series now tied at one, Myrtle Beach will start Jonathan Martinez (3-2, 3.64 ERA) Sunday at 5:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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