Happ helps Pelicans outlast Mudcats in 14-inning battle

pel-farrispitchGreat pitching and three hits from Ian Happ helped the Myrtle Beach Pelicans outlast the Carolina Mudcats 3-2 in 14 innings Tuesday at Five County Stadium.

With the score deadlocked at two since the seventh inning, Happ advanced to second on an infield single and error to begin the 14th inning. A groundball advanced him to third to draw the Mudcats (17-26) infield in with one out. Daniel Lockhart then rolled a ball through the middle to plate Happ and give the Pelicans (25-19) the 3-2 lead.

Ryan McNeil came out of the bullpen and worked a scoreless bottom of the 14th for his first save of the season. Combined with Jordan Minch, Daury Torrez and James Farris, the Myrtle Beach bullpen yielded only two runs on five hits in 8.1 innings. Both Torrez and Farris worked at least three frames in relief.

The Pelicans also received tremendous pitching from Trevor Clifton, who scattered four hits in 5.2 shutout frames. Clifton fanned four against three walks, and stretched his scoreless streak to an even 17 innings. He has given up just five earned runs in his last six starts, covering 32.1 innings (1.39 ERA).

Happ, who had three hits, got the Birds started with a two-run home run in the first inning off Carolina starter Enderson Franco. However, Franco dominated from there, retiring 19 of the final 20 Pelicans he faced in his seven-inning performance.

Myrtle Beach still held a 2-0 lead when Minch yielded an infield single and walk to begin the seventh. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners over, before a Keith Curcio RBI groundout plated the first Mudcats run of the game. The Birds then brought in Torrez, who uncorked a wild pitch to allow the tying run to score.

The middle game of the three-game set features RHP Erick Leal (5-2, 3.93 ERA) against Carolina RHP Wes Parsons (0-0, 4.73 ERA). First pitch is at 7 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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