Pelicans produce five late runs to rally past Mudcats

pel-hitterThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, came from three down in the final two frames to knock off the Carolina Mudcats 5-4 on Sunday night. Jorge Alfaro clubbed a game-tying three-run homer in the eighth, and the Pelicans scored two in the ninth, hanging on for the win.

For the third time in the series, the Mudcats (22-25) scored in the first inning. Carolina collected four straight hits to open the game off of Chi Chi Gonzalez. LeVon Washington singled home the first run and Alex Monsalve tripled home another. Gonzalez had allowed one run in the last 14 innings but gave up two runs in the first.

D.J. Brown fired five scoreless innings for the Mudcats. He walked four but stranded four Pelicans in five frames with a season-high six strikeouts.

Torsten Boss slapped a solo homer off of Gonzalez in the sixth to extend the lead to 3-0.

Myrtle Beach (31-17) was held scoreless by Grant Sides in the sixth and seventh innings. Still trailing 3-0 in the eighth, the Birds got to Jacob Lee. Christopher Bostick doubled to leadoff the frame. Lee fanned Joey Gallo and then walked Preston Beck. With two on, Alfaro came to the dish.

He got behind in the count 0-2 but launched a three-run line drive homer over the tall wall in left field. The long ball tied the game at 3-3. Chris Grayson then doubled but was left on base.

Jose Leclerc entered in the bottom of the eighth of the tie game. He walked three Mudcats but stranded the bases loaded, sending the game to the ninth tied at 3-3.

Hanser Alberto doubled to lead off the inning. Chris Garia then put down a bunt and beat out the throw for a bunt single, and Alberto moved to third on the bunt. Garia stole second on a strikeout of Bostick, and the Mudcats elected to intentionally walk Gallo.

With the bases loaded, Preston Beck singled on a ground ball to third base. It was knocked down by Carolina third baseman James Roberts, but Beck beat out the play at first base, and the Pelicans took a 4-3 lead. Grayson was hit by a pitch with the bases load to bring another run across, and the Birds took a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth.

Medina doubled off of Leclerc to begin the frame. He came around to score on a fly out and a balk, but Leclerc retired the final three batters, including two on strikes to finish off the Mudcats.

Leclerc (3-0) earned the win, while Head (0-3) suffered the loss.

Myrtle Beach wraps up the series and the road trip with the Carolina Mudcats at 12:00 p.m. on Monday at Five County Stadium. Andrew Faulkner  (2-0, 2.68 ERA) takes the ball for the Pelicans against Carolina right-hander Michael Peoples (2-4, 6.48 ERA). The game can be heard live on WRNN AM 1450 ESPN Myrtle Beach, on the TuneIn Radio App, and via the MiLB First Pitch App, beginning with the Hampton Inn Pregame Show at 11:40 a.m.

The next Pelicans home game is Tuesday, May 27 when the Birds host the first of three games against the Salem Red Sox.

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