Pelicans rally in fifth inning to tie championship series

pel-boteswingThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans erupted for five runs in the bottom of the fifth to beat the Lynchburg Hillcats 8-3 Sunday and even the Mills Cup Championship Series at a game apiece at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

With Lynchburg (1-1) leading 3-1 entering the frame, Charcer Burks crushed a solo home run to left with one out to cut the deficit to 3-2. Donnie Dewees followed with a single before David Bote doubled him home to tie the game. Bote’s doubled chase Hillcats starter Brock Hartson (0-1), who surrendered four runs on six hits over 4.1 innings.

With Bote at second and one out, Eloy Jimenez drew a walk before Bryant Flete bounced into a fielder’s choice. Jeffrey Baez then singled to right to score Bote and give Myrtle Beach (1-1) their first lead of the game at 4-3. Andrew Ely and Erick Castillo then came through with RBI singles of their own to stretch the Pelicans lead to 6-3.

Daniel Lewis then tossed two shutout innings of relief to hold the 6-3 Myrtle Beach advantage.

Still up three in the bottom of the eighth, Castillo doubled to right to start the eighth before Jesse Hodges advanced him to third on an infield single. After a Dewees walk loaded the bases with one out, Bote singled to left to plate a pair and extend the Pelicans’ lead to 8-3.

Tommy Thorpe got all three outs in the eighth before Ryan McNeil finished off a scoreless ninth.

The Hillcats got the scoring going early, when the first three batters singled against Myrtle Beach starter Jeremy Null in the top of the first. With the bases loaded, Bobby Bradley then hit into a double play to score Tyler Krieger and get Lynchburg on the board 1-0.

Burks walked to start the bottom of the inning before he reached second on a passed ball. After a sac bunt moved him to third base, Jimenez grounded out to score Burks and tie the game 1-1.

The Hillcats strung together three straight two-out singles against Null in the fourth, with the final one from Yonathan Mendoza giving Lynchburg a 2-1 lead.

In the top of the fifth against Pelicans reliever James Norwood (1-0), Krieger singled to center before Anthony Santander walked two batters later. With two outs in the inning, Dorssys Paulino singled to right to plate Krieger and open up a 3-1 lead for Lynchburg.

The Pelicans’ bullpen worked five innings of one-run baseball Sunday night, and has now posted a 1.91 ERA since August 19.

Bote, meanwhile, is 11-for-18 in the postseason with 7 RBIs in five games.

The Pelicans and Hillcats will have a day off Monday before playing Game 3 of the best-of-five series in Lynchburg at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. RHP Trevor Clifton (1-0, 1.50 ERA) is scheduled to make the start for Myrtle Beach, against LHP Luis Lugo (0-0, 1.80 ERA) of Lynchburg.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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