Pels pitch another shutout to win title series opener

pel-bellThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, won Game One of the Mills Cup Championship 2-0 over the Potomac Nationals on Saturday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

Edwin Garcia provided the game’s only runs with a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning in his first game back from the disabled list.

The Nationals (2-1 in postseason) had the bases loaded in the top of the first but failed to score. With one out, Tony Renda and Shawn Pleffner singled, and then John Wooten walked to load the bases. Pelicans starter Chad Bell escaped the inning unscathed when Stephen Perez grounded into a 5-3 double play.

Bell tossed six shutout frames, scattering five hits, all singles, while striking out two and walking two.

The Pelicans (3-1 in postseason) scored the game’s only runs in the second inning. Royce Bolinger led off with a single, and two batters later, Garcia drilled a 1-2 pitch from Nationals starter Ian Dickson into the Budweiser Thirst Inning Deck. The home run was his first since June 30, 2013 and put the Pelicans ahead 2-0.

After allowing a home run by Garcia, Dickson did not surrender another run in five innings of work, allowing five hits while striking out six and walking two.

The Nationals bullpen, consisting of Pedro Encarnacion and Travis Henke, held the Pelicans scoreless for three innings.

Potomac threatened to tie the game in the top of the ninth but failed to bring home any runs. After Justin Sprenger and Cody Ege pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings, Abel De Los Santos entered the game. After Wooten singled, Perez struck out swinging. On a 1-2 count, Randolph Oduber hit a double to left field to put runners at second and third with two outs. The Nationals pinch hit Mike McQuillan for Khayyan Norfork, but McQuillan grounded out to short to end the ballgame.

Bell (1-0) earned the win, Dickson (0-1) took the loss, and De Los Santos (1) picked up the save.

Game Two is on Sunday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. It is the final home game of the season

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