MB loses game, first place to Dash in walk-off fashion

pel-conwayWith a two-run lead heading into the eighth inning on Thursday night, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans were stunned by a 5-4 walk-off loss to the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark.

The Dash rallied for two runs to tie the game in the eighth before the winning run scored on a wild pitch in the ninth, staving off a series sweep and shifting Winston-Salem back into first place in the Carolina League Southern Division standings.

The Pelicans (73-49, 32-21 second half) worked out to a quick lead in the first inning, stroking three consecutive doubles off of Dash starter Spencer Adams to grab a 2-0 advantage. The Birds moved in front 3-0 when Jacob Rogers added a marker on a one-out single to left.

Winston-Salem (62-60, 32-20 second half responded in the bottom of the frame when center fielder Adam Engel led off with a solo homer to left field, shaving the Pelicans’ lead to 3-1.

The next half inning, Chesny Young worked a one-out walk and moved to third base on a single to right field from Pin-Chieh Chen. After a strikeout of Mark Zagunis, Jason Vosler ripped another single to right, this time an RBI knock that moved the Birds ahead, 4-1.

The Dash answered with a second homer off of Pelicans starter Daury Torrez in the home half of the second. With one out, left fielder Nick Basto lined a solo round-tripper just over the left-field wall to trim the Myrtle Beach lead to 4-2.

Torrez went on to scatter two more singles and also surrendered a walk, finishing with 6.0 innings of work on the mound and taking no decision. He struck four and allowed just the two runs, both earned.

Adams allowed a leadoff single in the fifth, but the 19-year-old right-hander got the hook after 4 1/3 innings of work on Thursday. He finished with eight scattered hits and four earned runs allowed in his second start with the Dash.

Right-hander James Dykstra took over for Adams in the fifth and retired the first eight batters he faced before Victor Caratini slapped a one-out single to right in the visiting eighth. Chen was the only other baserunner to reach off of Dykstra when a missed catch fielding error by first baseman Keon Barnum sent the speedy outfielder to second base. However Dykstra would strand Chen there with a looking strikeout of Mark Zagunis.

Josh Conway replaced Torrez in the seventh and the right-hander retired the Dash in order before running into trouble in the eighth. Consecutive doubles opened the inning, the latter of which brought the Dash to within a run, and after a sacrifice bunt put a man in scoring position, second baseman Eddy Alvarez squeaked a single through the left side of the infield to tied the game at 4-4.

In the bottom of the ninth, still in a 4-4 tie, Barnum worked a one-out walk against Pelicans left-hander Michael Heesch. After a single, a fielder’s choice ground out, and a second walk loaded the bases, a pitch to left-handed hitting outfielder Nolan Early went to the backstop, allowing Barnum to score the game-winning run.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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