Balaguert breaks franchise RBI record for hot Pelicans

pel-balaguertYasiel Balaguert picked up four hits and four RBIs to lead the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to an 11-4 win over the Potomac Natioanls Sunday at Pfitzner Stadium.

In the process, Balaguert broke the Pelicans’ (82-56, 46-22) single-season RBI record, which was set in 2008 by Ernesto Mejia. The Cuban first baseman now has 96 on the season.

The Birds got the offense going right away against Potomac (72-65, 38-31) starter Austen Williams (4-6). With one out in the top of the first, Donnie Dewees and David Bote both doubled down the third base line to give Myrtle Beach a 1-0 lead. Balaguert then destroyed a homer to left to extend the advantage to 3-0.

Bryant Flete followed with a single before Williams got the second out. Williams then walked Daniel Spingola before hitting Erick Castillo to load the bases. After throwing four pitches to Andrew Ely, Williams was replaced by Jorge Pantoja, who then walked Ely to make it 4-0. Charcer Burks and Dewees followed with run-scoring to singles to cap a six-run first inning rally.

Still leading 6-0 in the second, Balaguert doubled to right before a ground out advanced him to third. After Rice was hit by a pitch, Spingola bounced into a fielder’s choice to score Balaguert and make the score 7-0 Pelicans.
Pelicans starter James Pugliese (7-5) worked 5.2 innings, allowing four runs, two earned, six hits and two walks while striking out three. The New Jersey native has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his seven starts.

Still leading 9-4 in the top of the eighth, Balaguert collected his fourth hit of the nihgt on a single to center before Flete was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, Spingola shot a double into the right field corner, scoring both runners to make it 11-4.

Daury Torrez and Ryan McNeil combined for 3.1 innings of shutout relief, striking out five while allowing only two hits.

The Pelicans have now won 33 of their last 41 games, including 12 of the previous 13.

Myrtle Beach and Potomac will wrap up the regular season Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. Coverage begins at 12:50 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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