Buckel pitches masterpiece as Pelicans top Dash in 13th

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans took down the first place Winston-Salem Dash, 3-0, in 13 innings at BB&T Ballpark on Thursday night.

Scoreless into the top of the thirteenth inning, Myrtle Beach began with walks to two of the first three batters, Santiago Chirino and Josh Richmond.  Odubel Herrera, who already had two game-winning hits coming into the night, then single up the middle to drive Chirino home from second and break the deadlock.

Two batters later Christian Villanueva reached on an error by second baseman Dan Wagner.  The miscue brought Richmond home for a 2-0 lead.  That was immediately followed by a single from Tomas Telis for a 3-0 advantage.

The early part of the game was dominated by starting pitching.  Each starter, Myrtle Beach’s Cody Buckel and Winston-Salem’s Matt Heidenreich, went eight shutout innings.  For Buckel the distance was a career high, as were his 11 strikeouts.  The 19-year old was most efficient in the fifth inning when he walked his only batter of the game, but also struck out the side.

Both teams did have close calls that would have ended the game before it got to the 13th.  For the Dash that opportunity came in the seventh.  Trayce Thompson led off with a ball that tipped off the glove of Josh Richmond in rightfield.  It was ruled a three-base error, and with nobody out the Dash had a runner at third.  But after a strikeout of Dan Black, Buckel got Brady Shoemaker to line to right for out number two.  Richmond then threw out Thompson, on the fly, when the runner tried to tag.

The Pelican’s best opportunity came in the 11th inning, when Villanueva led off with a double.  He was sacrificed to third with one out before being thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice off Vinny DiFazio’s bat.

The win for the Pelicans was the team’s seventh last at-bat victory and third in extra innings.

Myrtle Beach next takes on Wilmington at Frawley Stadium in Delaware, Friday at 7:05pm.

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