Pelicans lose doubleheader to Mudcats as lead shrinks

Tpel-pitch2015he Myrtle Beach Pelicans dropped both games of a doubleheader against the Carolina Mudcats on Saturday at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark,.

After splitting a twin bill on Friday, the Mudcats won both games Saturday by scores of 1-0 and 4-2. Myrtle Beach’s lead atop the division standings is down to five games over Carolina with two weeks left in the first half.

Pelicans game one starter Tyler Skulina fired his fifth quality start in his last six games in the tough-luck loss. The Pelicans (32-22) fell behind in the opener when Mudcats left fielder Dustin Peterson hit a two-out home run in the first inning for the only run of the game.

Skulina (2-4) would only allow two more hits and one walk after that as he tied a career high eight strikeouts in six innings of work. The right-hander struck out at least two batters in three separate innings, and struck out the side in the third.

Carolina (27-27) rode the arm of starter Brandon Barker (1-1) to the shutout victory as the right-hander tossed six complete frames, shutting out the Pelicans on three base hits and one strikeout. Cole Brocker earned his second save in one inning of work, surrendering one hit while striking out the final two batters of the game. Victor Caratini collected two hits in the contest while a nine-game hit-streak for Chesny Young game to a close.

In game two, with the game tied 2-2 in the top of the sixth, Carolina rallied for a pair of runs on three straight hits to greet reliever Juan Paniagua. Right fielder Sean Godfrey singled to shortstop before left fielder Dustin Peterson launched a triple to the wall in left-center to snatch a 3-2 lead. Designated hitter Jacob Schrader followed with a single to right for a 4-2 Carolina advantage.

The Pelicans took the first lead of the game thanks to an RBI single to shallow left by Young in the bottom of the first. Starting pitcher Fernando Cruz pitched five frames in his first career start, allowing two runs, one earned, on just two hits. The right-hander took no decision, striking out four while walking three.

With the Pelicans ahead 1-0, Mudcats shortstop Johan Camargo responded with a doubled to start the Carolina third. A sacrifice bunt moved him to third, and a passed ball allowed him to score an unearned run and tie the contest at 1-1. First baseman Joey Meneses later gave the Mudcats the lead with a solo homer in the fifth.

Caratini drew the game even in bottom of sixth. After Zagunis was hit by a pitch, Caratini knocked him in with an RBI single to right, tying the contest at 2-2.

With the Mudcats ahead 4-2 into the bottom of the sixth, reliever Mauricio Cabrera retired the final six Pelicans in the game for his first save. The hard-throwing right-hander worked two perfect innings that included two strikeouts. Justin Jackson (2-0) won his second game from the Carolina bullpen on 1 1/3 innings of work with one earned run allowed.

The series against the Mudcats wraps up on Sunday with the first pitch at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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