Pelicans’ arms ace P-Nats to drop magic number to 1

pel-elyThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans held the Potomac Nationals to one run on four hits in their 2-1 win Friday at Pfitzner Stadium, dropping their magic number to win the Southern Division second half title to one.

Myrtle Beach (80-56, 44-22) is now 26-5 since July 30. If they hold on to win the division, they will host Game 1 of the Southern Division Championship series on Wednesday.

Duane Underwood made his Pelicans debut Friday, going 4.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits while fanning two.

With the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth, Underwood allowed a two-out single to Matt Page before hitting Dale Carey. After James Norwood (1-0) replaced Underwood, Victor Robles singled to right to score Page and give Potomac (72-63, 38-29) a 1-0 lead.

With the Nationals still up one in the top of the sixth, Potomac reliever Jorge Pantoja walked the first two batters before getting an out. Andrew Ely then lined a single to center to score Yasiel Balaguert and tie the game at one.

With Neil Holland (1-4) pitching in a tie game in the top of the eighth, Pelicans catcher Ian Rice pulled a double to the wall in right with one out. Two batters later, Ely pulled a grounder to first base. Page pulled his glove up early, allowing the ball to roll through his legs. That allowed Rice to score and give the Pelicans a 2-1 lead.

Norwood responded to put up zeroes in the sixth and seventh inning. Daury Torrez escaped a jam in the eighth and Ryan McNeil struck out two in the ninth to notch his league-leading 22nd save of the year.

The Pelicans will look to clinch the division Friday at 7:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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