Pelicans clinch winning half with doubleheader sweep

pel-5Gleyber Torres homered, Ian Happ cracked three extra-base hits and Erick Leal fired six shutout innings to help the Myrtle Beach Pelicans sweep Saturday’s doubleheader with the Potomac Nationals 2-1 and 4-0 at Pfitzner Stadium, clinching their ninth consecutive winning half.

Leading off the fourth, Torres pounded a solo shot the other way off Potomac (33-34) starter Austen Williams (0-2) to break a scoreless tie. He came into score in the sixth on a double by Ian Happ, who has reached base multiple times three games in a row, making it 2-0 Myrtle Beach (36-33).

Trevor Clifton went the first 2.1 frames without allowing a run. James Pugliese (1-2) came into the game and allowed just a sacrifice fly in the sixth to cut the lead to 2-1. He yielded just that lone run on one hit in three frames. Jordan Minch got the final two outs in relief of Pugliese in the sixth before Ryan McNeil picked up his sixth save with a scoreless seventh.

In the second game of the twin bill, the Birds piled on P-Nats starter Luis Reyes (3-7) in the third. With no score to begin the frame, Reyes walked Charcer Burks and Torres before a Happ infield single loaded the bases with nobody out. Gioskar Amaya, who reached three times, then lofted a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0. Jason Vosler drilled an RBI double to increase the advantage to 2-0. A Reyes wild pitch brought in a third run, and after the right-handed plunked Jeffrey Baez, Daniel Spingola lifted another sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.

That was more than Leal (9-3) needed. The right-hander won for the seventh time in eight starts by scattering five hits in six innings, whiffing seven against two walks. Potomac had just one runner reach third base throughout the twin bill finale. Daury Torrez worked a perfect seventh to finish off the doubleheader sweep as Myrtle Beach completed their seventh shutout of the year, matching a Carolina League-high.

The twin bill was the fifth consecutive doubleheader for Myrtle Beach that involved a brooming, a franchise record dating back through the 2005 season.

Myrtle Beach sends RHP Jeremy Null (2-3, 3.41 ERA) to the mound in Sunday’s 1:05 p.m.

– Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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