Faulkner leads Pelicans to victory in pitchers’ duel

pel-faulknerThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans opened the homestand with a 2-1 victory over the Lynchburg Hillcats on Friday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

The Pelicans got five scoreless innings out of Andrew Faulkner and kept the Hillcats hitless with runners in scoring position, stranding 14 baserunners.

Faulkner surrendered a two-out triple to Jose Martinez in the first inning but got out of the jam, and his offense then staked him to an early lead.

Chris Garia began the first with an infield single. On a 1-0 pitch, Edwin Garcia punched a double to left field that was bobbled by Martinez. The error allowed Garia to score. Braves pitching prospect Lucas Sims then struck out Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro before getting Preston Beck to fly out to end the inning, limiting the Pelicans to one unearned run.

Faulkner, and the rest of Pelicans staff, worked out of trouble most of the night. The Hillcats (9-13, 43-49) got a single in the second, had two on with one out in the third and the fourth, and another hit in the fifth but failed to score. Faulkner struck out five, scattering five hits and two walks.

The Pelicans (13-10, 57-34) tacked on insurance in the fifth inning. With out, Royce Bolinger smacked a line drive solo home run to left field to put the team ahead 2-0.

Kevin Pucetas came on in the sixth inning in relief of Faulkner. He hit Will Skinner to open the frame. After getting a pop out, Emerson Landoni doubled to deep right field to put the Hillcats on the scoreboard, cutting the lead to 2-1. After a walk, Pucetas got out of the spot by retiring Blake Brown and Daniel Carroll.

He then tossed a scoreless seventh. Coming back out in the eighth, he walked Landoni with one out, finishing his night. Abel De Los Santos entered with the tying run on base. He walked Joe Odom put induced a pop out of Brown and got Carroll to bounce out to end the inning.

De Los Santos allowed two more baserunners in the ninth but nailed down the save, getting Justin Bloxom to fly out to end the inning with the tying and go-ahead runs aboard.

The Hillcats finished 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on base.

Faulkner (8-1) picked up his eighth win and a win in his fourth straight outing. Sims (6-8) suffered the defeat, while De Los Santos (7) picked up his seventh save in seven save chances.

The Pelicans continue their home series with the Hillcats on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.

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