Pelicans hammer Red Sox in playoff series opener

pel-15throwMyrtle Beach scored six runs in the third inning and Trevor Clifton fired six innings of one-run ball to help the Pelicans cruise to an 8-1 win over the Salem Red Sox Wednesday in Game 1 of the Carolina League’s Southern Division Championship Series at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

With Myrtle Beach (1-0) already leading 1-0, Donnie Dewees walked to lead off the inning against Salem (0-1) starter Michael Kopech (0-1). After Dewees advanced to second on a wild pitch, David Bote singled up the middle to score Dewees and stretch the Pelicans lead to 2-0. Bote then got to third on two wild pitches ahead of Bryant Flete, who singled over second base to plate Bote and push the Birds lead to 3-0. After Ian Rice was hit by a pitch, Jeffrey Baez ripped a single over shortstop to make the tally 4-0.

That chased Kopech, who was charged with six runs in 2.1 innings, striking out five and walking two.

Andrew Ely greeted reliever Anyelo Leclerc with a double down the right field line to score Rice and make the score 5-0 Pelicans. Back-to-back singles from Charcer Burks and Dewees capped the Birds’ big inning, extending the Myrtle Beach lead to 7-0 after three.

The Pelicans pitching staff did the rest. Clifton (1-0) scattered five singles over six innings, allowing one run and one walk while punching out six.

Tommy Nance worked two perfect innings of relief while Scott Effross finished off a scoreless ninth.

With the game scoreless in the bottom of the first, Burks was hit by a pitch and then stole second. Two batters later, Bote pulled a single into left to get Myrtle Beach on top, 1-0.

After the Pelicans’ six-run third, Jeffrey Baez took Leclerc deep for a solo home run in the fourth inning, extending the Myrtle Beach advantage to 8-0.

The Red Sox scored their lone run off Clifton in the sixth. After a walk and a fielder’s choice, Rafael Devers singled to right to score Luis Basabe and cut the deficit to 8-1.

The Pelicans can advance to their third straight Mills Cup Championship with a win either of the next two days in Salem.

The Pelicans will look to eliminate the Red Sox at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday in Game 2 of the SDCS. RHP Preston Morrison makes the start for Myrtle Beach, against LHP Trey Ball of Salem.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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