Pelicans drop first game of series in Winston-Salem

CrawRashad Crawford reached base three times, but the Winston-Salem Dash silenced the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 8-0 to win the series opener Monday at BB&T Ballpark.

Crawford singled, doubled, walked and stole a base while the rest of the offense struggled against Dash (34-37, 6-5) pitching.

Winston-Salem starter Jordan Stephens (4-7) worked six shutout innings allowing just three hits and two walks while tying a career-high with nine strikeouts.

The pivotal stage of Stephens’ outing came in the top of the sixth inning. With Winston-Salem leading 4-0, the Pelicans (41-41, 5-7) got singles from Andrew Ely and Charcer Burks before Crawford walked to load the bases with no one out. But Stephens induced a 3-2-3 double play before striking out Ian Rice to keep the Birds off the board.

The Dash began their scoring in the bottom of the second against Pelicans starter Zach Hedges (6-7). Nick Basto singled before Telvin Nash did the same two batters later. After Hedges got a strikeout, Brett Austin doubled to left to give Winston-Salem a 1-0 lead. The next batter was Cleuluis Rondon, who stroked a double to left-center to plate a pair and open up a 3-0 Dash advantage.

With the same score in the bottom of the third, Gerson Montilla homered with one out to the opposite field to give Winston a 4-0 lead.

Hedges held down the Dash in the fourth and fifth before Nash reached on an error with one out in the sixth. The next batter was Toby Thomas, who singled. With runners on the corners and one out, Austin doubled to the wall in deep left center to plate both runs and make it 6-0 Winston Salem. After a groundout advanced Austin to third, Pelicans reliever Pedro Araujo uncorked a wild pitch which allowed Austin to score and make it 7-0.

With the same score and one out in the eighth, Thomas reached on an error before Austin singled him to second. Rondon then hit into a fielder’s choice to plate Thomas and cap the scoring at 8-0.

Winston-Salem relief pitched Colin Kleven worked three scoreless innings to finish off the fifth shutout of the Pelicans this year.

The Pelicans and Dash will meet again Tuesday at 7 p.m. RHP Jonathan Martinez (4-5, 4.35 ERA) makes the start for Myrtle Beach, while RHP Spencer Adams (7-6, 3.79 ERA) goes for Winston-Salem. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn.

The 2016 season is the 18th season for the Pelicans franchise and second as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. For information on tickets to see the Pelicans in 2016, please call (843) 918-6000, e-mail info@myrtlebeachpelicans.com, or visit www.MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.

ABOUT THE PELICANS: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and play their home games at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The park has ranked in the top eight in all of Minor League Baseball by Stadium Journey in each of the last five seasons. The same publication also placed the Pelicans in the Top 100 Stadium Experiences in all of sports in each of the last five years and the best in the Carolina League for five straight seasons as well. In May 2015, TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark won the 2015 TripAdvisor.com Certificate of Excellence award. The Pelicans are the defending Mills Cup Champions, winning the title in 2015 as well as 2000 and co-Mills Cup championship honors in the inaugural 1999 season. The Pelicans have made nine postseason appearances behind 11 half-season Southern Division championships, including the first half of the 2015 season, as well as five Southern Division titles, most recently in 2015. For more information on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, please contact the Pelicans at (843) 918-6000 or emailing Info@MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.

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