Pelicans hot as firecrackers with Independence Day win

Hickory Crawdads -vs- Asheville TouristsThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans won their third straight game on July 4 with a 4-2 victory over the Potomac Nationals on Friday night at Pfitzner Stadium.

Chris Garia opened the ballgame with a home run to put the Pelicans ahead for good. Chad Bell, Cody Buckel, and Jose Leclerc combined to allow just six baserunners, and the staff did not allow a walk for the first time in a game this season.

Garia blasted a 0-1 pitch to right field off of Potomac starter Dakota Bacus to put the Birds ahead 1-0. The Nationals then walked Christopher Bostick before settling in. He allowed just two baserunners from that point until the fifth: Luis Mendez reached on a wild pitch on a strikeout and Jorge Alfaro drew a fourth-inning walk.

Chad Bell dominated for Myrtle Beach (10-5, 54-29). He set down the first ten Nationals hitters before a one-out double by Stephen Perez. The southpaw surrendered another double in the fifth to Randolph Oduber. That was all that reached against Bell in his fourth start for the Pelicans. He stuck out two en route to his third win in four starts.

The Pelicans added run support for him in the fifth. David Lyon slugged a double to open the frame, moving to third on a fielder’s choice. Bakus then hit Mendez and walked Garia to load the bases. Christopher Bostick lined a single to left, his first of two hits on the night, to knock in one run, and Nick Williams followed with a double to right field to plate two more.

Cody Buckel entered for the sixth with a 4-0 lead. He set Potomac (6-7, 44-38) down in order in the sixth, including two strikeouts, and fanned the first hitter of the seventh inning. With out one, Oscar Tejeda blooped a single to center, and then Shawn Pleffner and Randolph Oduber collected back-to-back ground ball singles to score a run. After a throwing error from Williams allowed Pleffner to third, Khayyan Norfork drove in a second run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to deep center field.

Buckel struck out Justin Miller top complete the seventh, and the Nationals did not get a baserunner the rest of the way. Buckel pitched a perfect eighth, and Jose Leclerc put the P-Nats down 1-2-3 in the ninth with two strikeouts to close things out.

Bell (3-0) earned the victory, while Bakus (3-4) took the loss, and Leclerc earned his eighth save.

– Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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