Critical errors drop Pelicans to first defeat of season

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans fell for the first time Sunday, 3-2, to the Wilmington Blue Rocks at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

For the third straight game the Pelicans jumped out to an early lead, going ahead 1-0 in the fourth inning.  With one out Vinny DiFazio took a walk from Wilmington starter Yordano Ventura.  He advanced to second on a walk to Jake Skole two batters later and scored on a double from Yefry Castillo.  The ball knocked off of leftfielder Brian Fletcher’s glove on a diving attempt, allowing the run to score and everybody to advance safely.

Playing with a 1-0 lead the Pelicans ran into trouble in the fifth.  With a runner on and two outs, the Pelicans allowed three unearned runs to score after committing three errors.  The first was a throwing error by shortstop Odubel Herrera, allowing Angel Franco to reach and plating Guelin Beltre.  Luis Piterson followed with a single that got by leftfielder Jared Hoying.

Whit Merrifield then singled, plating Franco for a 2-1 lead.  The Rocks added the eventual gamewinner on another error, this time a fielding miscue, by Herrera.  The shortstop dropped a ball hit his way by Alex McClure and Piterson came homeAll of the runs scored by Wilmington in the fifth were unearned.

The Pelicans remain the only team in the Majors or Minors to have not allowed an earned run this season.

The Pelicans tried to make a late comeback, scoring off reliever Ryan Dennick in the sixth.  Castillo doubled to put the previously walked Skole at third base.  Edwin Garcia then drove Skole home with a single up the middle to cut the lead to one.

Dennick took the win for Wilmington and Nick Tepesch the loss for the Pelicans.  Tepesch allowed three unearned runs in 4.2 innings.  He struck out three and walked none.

Myrtle Beach takes Monday off, but returns to action Tuesday at 7:05 against the Potomac Nationals.

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