Effross tosses gem to give Pelicans doubleheader split

Myrtle Beach fell 5-3 in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader, but Scott Effross pitched a career-high five shutout innings and Eddy Martinez homered to lead the Pelicans to a 5-0 win over the Down East Wood Ducks in the finale in front of a sellout crowd of 6,599 at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

Effross (5-1) rolled for Myrtle Beach (54-42,11-15) in game two of the twin bill. The former Indiana right-hander tossed a career-high five shutout innings and whiffed four Wood Ducks (36-60,12-15) batters in the outing, ceding just two hits and walking one. His previous career-high for innings had been 3.2.

With one out in the inning in the fifth inning of the finale, Jesse Hodges reached on an infield single before advancing to second on a stolen base. With two outs in the frame, Robert Garcia ripped a single into center field, scoring Hodges and giving the Pelicans the 1-0 lead.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Trent Giambrone drew a walk with two outs against Down East starter Steven Bruce (2-2). Martinez then drilled a two-run homer to left field to widen the margin to 3-0. Tyler Alamo and Hodges followed Martinez with back-to-back singles before they both came into score on a two-run double from P.J. Higgins to extend the Birds lead to 5-0.

Dakota Mekkes recorded the final six outs of the contest to lock down his third save of the season, helping the Pelicans to their league-high 13th shutout.

In game one, Down East jumped all over Myrtle Beach starter Ryan Kellogg (3-7) in the first inning. Down East kicked off the contest with five consecutive hits, including RBI singles from Carlos Garay and Yanio Perez, as well as an RBI double from Preston Scott, to make the score 3-0. Luis La O added another run in the frame with a sacrifice fly to center field. The final run of the inning would score on a ground-rule double from Chuck Moorman.

Vimael Machin led off the third inning with a base hit before he advanced to second on a single from Trent Giambrone, who reached base three times. Both Machin and Giambrone advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch before Machin scored on an RBI ground out from Martinez to make the score 5-1.

With two outs in the frame and nobody on base, Tyler Pearson , who registered three hits, and Connor Myers notched back-to-back doubles to pull the Birds to within 5-2. Zack Short delivered the Birds’ third straight two-out hit in the frame with a base knock to right field to score Myers.

Scott Williams recorded a three-up, three-down seventh inning to earn his second save and give the Woodies 5-3 victory over Myrtle Beach. Grant Zawadzki (1-0) earned the win with three innings of relief.

Myrtle Beach and Down East will play Friday at 7:05 p.m. in the third game of their five-game series.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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