Pelicans beat Wood Ducks, leap into first-half title race

pel-kelloggThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans beat the Down East Wood Ducks by a final of 4-2 on Thursday to put themselves in the thick of the Carolina League Southern Division first-half championship.

The Pelicans (29-25) moved within one game of first place in a tight three-team race down the stretch. The Buies Creek Astros (30-24) hold down first place, a half-game ahead of the Carolina Mudcats (29-24). The first half ends June 18.

The Pelicans got a stellar start from Ryan Kellogg, who allowed just two runs over 6.2 innings en route to a victory from TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

With both starting pitchers’ coasting, Myrtle Beach (29-25) struck first against Down East (21-32) starter Wes Benjamin (3-5) in the fifth. With one out in the frame, Eddy Martinez recorded the first Myrtle Beach hit with a line drive single to left field. Tyler Alamo got a base hit and scored on a Jesse Hodges double to give the Birds the 1-0 advantage. Follow a two-out walk issued to Matt Rose, Connor Myers continued the two-out rally with a run-scoring single to left field, extending the Pelicans lead to 2-0.

The Pelicans continued to add on to their lead in the sixth. With one out in the inning, Daniel Spingola doubled down the left field line before advancing to third on a ground out. A passed ball brought him in to extend the Myrtle Beach lead to 3-0. Martinez would cap off the Pelicans’ scoring with an exclamation point, as the Cuban outfielder blasted his sixth home run of the season over the left field wall to give the Pelicans their fourth run of the contest.

With Kellogg (2-3) cruising, the Woodies would break up the shutout in the seventh. Luis La O kicked off the frame with a base hit before scoring on a Josh Altmann triple to begin the top of the frame. With the score 4-1, Chuck Moorman grounded out to the right side of the infield to score Altmann and make it a 4-2 ballgame.

The two runs were all the Wood Ducks could muster against Kellogg, who picked up his second win of the season. The southpaw yielded just those two runs on four hits, with four strikeouts against one walk. Casey Bloomquist came in relief of Kellogg in the seventh with two men retired and pitched the rest of the way to wrap up the Pelicans’ 4-2 victory over Down East. Bloomquist did not allow a base runner in his 2.1 frames and whiffed four.

Myrtle Beach will look to take the series advantage Friday at 7:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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