Pelicans’ five-run rally sets stage for historic first half

pel-bostickThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans plated five runs in the ninth inning in a come-from-behind win 8-6 in Frederick in the series opener at Harry Grove Stadium on Thursday night.

Catcher David Lyon doubled twice and knocked in a career-high five runs helping the Pelicans to their 44th win of the year. The club can tie a franchise record for wins in a half with a win on Friday.

Myrtle Beach (44-21) took an early lead. After Keys starter Mark Blackmar got the first two men out, Preston Beck drew a walk, and Blackmar plunked Jorge Alfaro. Lyon followed with a two-run double down the right field line to put the Birds ahead 2-0.

Luis Parra faced one over the minimum in two scoreless innings to start his night. He surrendered back-to-back singles from the eight and nine batters in Frederick’s lineup to begin the third. After a sacrifice bunt and a strikeout, Creede Simpson hit a ground ball to the left side of the infield. Mendez fielded it but his throw was low to Kevin Torres at first and two runs scored, both unearned, to tie things up at 2-2.

The Keys (29-35) pulled ahead with consecutive extra-base hits with two outs in the fifth. Myrtle Beach came right back to tie it in the sixth, however.

Beck drew his second walk of the night to open the frame and Alfaro followed with a single to knock Blackmar out of the ballgame. With Miguel Chalas in and one out, the run came around on a fielder’s choice off of the bat of Christopher Bostick on a potentially double-play ball to short.

Zane Chavez opened the home half of the sixth with a towering home run to right field to put Frederick back ahead 4-3. The Keys scored two in the inning, getting an RBI single from Lucas Herbst off of reliever Jose Leclerc.

The run was charged to Parra who gave up five runs, three earned, in 5 1/3 innings on eight hits and two walks. He struck out two and left on the hook for the loss.

Frederick added one more run off of Cody Buckel in the eighth inning on two singles, an error, and a walk.

The Pelicans trailed 6-3 in the ninth. With two on and two outs, Hanser Alberto was down to his final strike when he singled to right field to score a run and keep the Pelicans alive. It also extended Alberto’s hitting streak to 11 games, the longest of the season for the shortstop.

Beck then bounced a ball deep in the hole on the right side of the infield. Frederick second baseman Joel Hutter bobbled the ball, allowing Beck to reach and another run to score. The play could have ended the game, but instead it allowed Alfaro to the plate. He lined a ball off of the base umpire, which put Alfaro at first by rule on the dead ball, umpire’s interference.

The bases were loaded with two outs for Lyon. He fell behind in the count 1-2 before fouling off two two-strike pitches and working the count full. With the runners on the move, Lyon smacked a double to deep left field, clearing the bases, and putting the Birds ahead 8-6.

Will Lamb closed the door on the Keys in the bottom of the ninth inning, fanning two for the save, his second. The rally made a winner out of Buckel (2-4), while Givens (1-2) took the loss.

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