Pelicans, Hedges spoil title celebration plans for Hillcats

pel-hedgespitchZach Hedges worked a season-high 7.2 innings of one-run baseball to pitch the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to a 2-1 win over Lynchburg Saturday, denying the Hillcats of the Northern Division title at Calvin Falwell Field at Lynchburg City Stadium.

With the game tied at one and both starters still in the game in the top of the seventh, Myrtle Beach (33-28) got a double to right-center from Jason Vosler to put the go-ahead run into scoring position with one out. After a pitching change, Vosler advanced to third on a wild pitch. Daniel Spingola followed and chopped a ball back to reliever Matt Whitehouse. Whitehouse’s throw was low and hit off first baseman Bobby Bradley’s mitt, allowing Vosler to score and give the Birds a 2-1 lead.

Hedges retired the next five batters for Myrtle Beach before Tommy Thorpe got the final out in the eighth. Hedges surrendered just five hits and one walk while striking out four. The right-hander has posted a 1.27 ERA over his last four starts, walking only three batters.

With the score still 2-1 Pelicans in the bottom of the ninth, Thorpe retired the first two batters. With the Hillcats (39-22) down to their final out, Bradley followed and cranked a liner off the top of the wall in right field. He was held to a single on the play, missing a game-tying home run by inches. Ryan McNeil came in and got Yu-Cheng Chang to fly out to shallow right to end the game and earn his fourth save.

In the bottom of the first, Hedges allowed a single to Greg Allen to begin the inning, but was able to strand him at third to keep the game scoreless.

Hedges and Lynchburg starter Julian Merryweather (7-2) traded zeroes through the first two innings.

With one out in the top of the third, Pelicans catcher Gioskar Amaya clobbered a pitch over the left-center field wall to give Myrtle Beach a 1-0 lead.

With the same score in the bottom of the fourth, Hillcats right fielder Taylor Murphy singled up the middle to start the frame. Two batters later, Bradley bounced a hit up the middle to get Murphy to third. The next hitter was Chang, who hit a high hopper to third, allowing Murphy to score on the groundout to tie the game at one.

The Pelicans will try and earn a split with Lynchburg on Sunday, with first pitch happening at 2 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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