Balaguert’s hot bat delivers game-winner for Pelicans

pel-12Yasiel Balaguert’s fifth-inning home run was just enough to get the Myrtle Beach Pelicans past the Winson-Salem Dash in a 4-3 win at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark Thursday.

Balaguert’s homer was his fourth in the last seven games and seventh on the season. He’s also driven in 12 runs over that span.

In a scoreless game in the second, Dash outfielder Mason Robbins doubled off Pelicans (22-17) starter Erick Leal (5-2) to begin the frame. After a sacrifice bunt, Brett Austin drove home Robbins on a fly ball to give Winston-Salem (15-26) a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Dash starter Jordan Stephens (0-5) hit Jason Vosler with a pitch before giving up back-to-back single to Cael Brockmeyer and Daniel Lockhart. Two batters later, Charcer Burks grounded a single into left to tie the game at one.

The next batter was Rashad Crawford, who hit a hard grounder up the middle. Dash second baseman Toby Thomas laid out to catch the ball on a hop, but his glove flip went wide, allowing Brockmeyer to score and make it 2-1 Myrtle Beach. Stephens would then get a double play to escape further trouble.

With the score still 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Pelicans DH Ian Happ singled before Balaguert delivered the homer to make it 4-1 Birds.

Leal owned the middle innings for Mytle Beach, needing just 20 pitches to rattle off three hitless frames. But in the seventh, back-to-back hits from Robbins and Thomas made it 4-2, before Austin drove home Thomas on a groundout to make it a one-run game.

Leal completed seven innings without walking a batter, allowing three runs on seven hits.

With the score still 4-3 Pelicans, Ryan McNeil worked a scoreless eighth before James Farris came in for the ninth. Farris retired the Dash in order, earning his Carolina League-leading seventh save of the season.

The Pelicans will return to TicketReturn.com Field Friday to start a four-game series with the Lynchburg Hillcats.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelcians

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