Pelicans avoid being swept by Dash, clinch playoff berth

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class- A Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, clinched a playoff spot and avoided a sweep Sunday afternoon with a late inning win over the Winston-Salem Dash, 5-2.

An eighth inning two out, two run homerun by Brett Nicholas gave the Pelicans a lead after trailing for most of the game.

With the win, the Pelicans have a 7 1/2 game lead over Carolina with seven games left and therefore eliminate the Mudcats. Myrtle Beach is still in contention for the second half division title. They are three games back from the Dash with seven games left.

If the Dash win the second- half, as being first half winners as well, they will host all three games in Winston-Salem starting on Wednesday September 5. If the Pelicans can come back they will host the first of the three games on that Wednesday.

With Myrtle Beach down 2-0 going into the eighth, the bats came out to deliver five runs off the Dash bullpen in the final two frames. Teodoro Martinez drove in Yefry Castillo on an RBI single and then with two outs Hanser Alberto drove in Martinez the same way to tie the game at 2.

Brett Nicholas then came up and pulled a two run homerun off Winston ace reliever Terrance Marin. The shot was Nicholas’ seventh of the year and put the Birds up 4-2. Jeremy Williams also put on out in the ninth off JR Ballinger, his fifth with the Pelicans and 13th between Myrtle Beach and Hickory.

Both starters, Joe Van Meter and Scott Snodgress, pitched very well but it was Ben Rowen who stole the show on the mound.  Van Meter pitched six innings, giving up two runs on RBI by the Dash Kevan Smith and Mark Haddow. Snodgress pitched even better for the Dash, he held the Pelicans scoreless through his six innings, striking out seven. Ben Rowen was brilliant as usual, he shut the door on any Dash hope for runs, pitching the final three innings and striking out four.

The Pelicans now make the long haul north for a four game series with the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The Rocks will send Andy Ferguson (3-2, 3.51) to the mound to face Pelicans starter Randol Rojas (9-4, 3.05), first pitch is set for 6:35. The Pelicans return home on Saturday to play the Lynchburg Hillcats in the final series of the regular season. For tickets or more information please visit myrtlebeachpelicans.com or call 843-918-6000.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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