Pelicans force rubber match in comeback win

MyersBryant Flete rapped out a career-high five hits Wednesday and Myrtle Beach rallied from behind twice as Connor Myers’  two-run single in the eighth inning lifted the Pelicans over the Buies Creek Astros by a final score of 8-7 from TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

With the game tied at six in the eighth inning, Myrtle Beach (48-35, 5-8) rallied against Buies Creek (46-38, 9-5) right-hander Nick Hernandez (0-1). Robert Garcia was hit by a pitch leading off the frame before swiping second base to get into scoring position. With one out, Buies Creek intentionally walked Tyler Alamo  to put two Pelicans on base. Flete advanced to third and Alamo advanced to second on a groundout from Jesse Hodges . The Astros then intentionally walked Zack Short  to load the bases. With two men retired, Myers delivered with a two-run single to left field to give the Birds their first lead of the game at 8-6.

With Myrtle Beach leading 8-6 in the ninth inning, James Norwood entered the contest and picked up his sixth save of the season. The Astros did not make it easy on Norwood, as Buies Creek added a run on a sacrifice fly from Yordan Alvarez to score Myles Straw.

Buies Creek wasted no time scoring off Pelicans starter Mike Rucker as Straw drove the first pitch of the ballgame out of the park to left field which gave the ‘Stros the early 1-0 lead. Ryne Birk singled before advancing to third base on a single from Yordan Alvarez. The second and final run of the inning scored on an RBI single from Anthony Hermelyn.

In the bottom of the second, Short blasted his first High-A home run of the season to halve the Astros’ lead at 2-1.

In the third, Eloy Jimenez singled then advanced to second on a walk issued to Eddy Martinez. With one man retired, Tyler Alamo  singled to left field, scoring Jimenez and tying the game at two.

Stephen Wrenn doubled to kick off the top of the fourth inning for Buies Creek. With two outs in the frame, Alex DeGoti singled to center field, scoring Wrenn to give the Astros their second lead of the game. Anibal Sierra and Straw followed DeGoti with back-to-back hits, scoring two more runs in the frame to extend the Buies Creek lead to 5-2.

Hermelyn doubled with one out in the fifth inning before eventually scoring on a wild pitch to make the score 6-2.

Myrtle Beach opened up the bottom of the fifth inning with four hits in a row. Trent Giambrone and Garcia both singled before Martinez drove in Giambrone with a base knock to give the Birds their first run of the frame. Alamo followed Martinez with a base hit to load the bases. Hodges grounded into a force out that allowed Garcia to score from third to give the Birds their second run of the inning. Martinez scored the final run of the frame on a base hit from Flete to bring the Birds within a run at 6-5.

Giambrone led off the sixth with his second hit of the night before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt from Garcia. Martinez tied the game up for the Pelicans as he drove home Giambrone with an RBI triple to right field.

Dakota Mekkes picked up his second win of the season after he tossed two scoreless innings of relief.

The Pelicans and Astros will play the rubber match in Thursday’s 7:05 p.m. series finale. LHP Justin Steele (6-4, 2.32 ERA) makes the start for Myrtle Beach against Buies Creek LHP Ryan Hartman (0-3, 4.91 ERA). Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on MiLB.tv, MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn.

Photo Credit: MB Pelicans/Larry Krave

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