Pelicans capture first win of season on the road

pel-pitchThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans collected their first win of the season in their first road contest of the year, beating the Wilmington Blue Rocks 5-3 in their home opener at Frawley Stadium on Tuesday night.

Luis Parra took a no-hitter into the fifth en route to his first win of the campaign and the offense knocked a season-high nine hits.

The Blue Rocks (2-3) sent highly touted prospect Sean Manaea to the hill to oppose Myrtle Beach, making his first professional appearance. The Pelicans (1-4) opened the scoring in the second inning. Joey Gallo reached first base on an error to lead off the frame, and Royce Bolinger followed with a double, scoring Gallo, who was running on the pitch, to make it 1-0. The lead was the Pelicans’ first this season.

The Birds broke open the game in the fourth. Three of the first four reached in the fourth to end Manaea’s night. Ali Williams came on and surrendered a two-run single by Hanser Alberto and an RBI knock from Zach Cone, his first hit of the season. The two hits made it a 4-0 Pelicans lead and closed the book on Manaea (0-1) who went 3.1 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on three hits, a walk, a hit batter and five strikeouts, taking the loss in his debut.

Parra was effective albeit a bit wild. He walked a batter in three of the first four innings, including two in the fourth. He got out of trouble on each occasion and kept the shutout in tact into the fifth.

Bubba Starling plated three off of Parra (1-0) in the fifth on a homer to right to cut the lead to 4-3. The fifth would be Parra’s last. He allowed three runs in total, all earned, on three hits with four walks and a strikeout to pick up the win.

Myrtle added an insurance run in the seventh on an RBI single from Nick Williams. Andrew Faulkner relieved Parra and completed the final four frames for his first save. He struck out four Blue Rocks over four shutout frames, allowing a pair of base hits and a lone walk.

The Pelicans play game two of the series tomorrow morning at Frawley Stadium, a 10:35 a.m. start, the earliest start time of the season. Victor Payano (0-1, 18.00) attempts to rebound from a rocky first outing, facing off against Miguel Almonte (0-0, 0.00 ERA).

The next Pelicans home game is Tuesday, April 15 when they play host to the Potomac Nationals for the beginning of a seven-game homestand.

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