Pelicans rally in 13th to win ninth extra-inning game

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans won their Carolina League-leading ninth extra-inning game of the season Thursday, beating the Salem Red Sox 5-3 in 13 innings at Lewis Gale Field.

Trailing in the seventh inning the Pelicans came through against Salem’s bullpen.  With two batters on, batters that belonged to starter Brandon Workman, Charle Rosario induced a ground ball from Cookie Castillo that nearly turned in to a double play.  The front end was successful but the back end went array, with second baseman Heiker Meneses throwing the ball to the first base dugout.  The error brought in Jhonny Gomez and tied the game at three.

From that point the Pelicans bullpen took over.  Wilmer Font went two and a third innings, striking out five and not allowing a hit.  Jimmy Reyes then tossed a career long four innings, allowing one hit and K’ing five.  Reyes earned the win, his fourth.  Ben Rowen picked up his 12th save.

On the offensive side the Pelicans continuously applied pressure to Salem’s staff.  The Birds had runners in scoring position in the eighth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth.  The Pelicans had three players thrown out at home plate over the course of extra innings.

Myrtle Beach finally broke through in the 13th with four consecutive singles off reliever Andrew Jones.  Vinny DiFazio, he of a .400 average against the Red Sox, came through with the final blow.  The DH blasted a two-run single for a 5-3 lead and a win.

The game did not come without controversy.  Myrtle Beach seemingly won the game in the 11nth inning when Christian Villanueva tried to score on a fielder’s choice and botched double play.  The Pelican was gunned down at the plate by an apparent late tag from catcher Christian Vazquez.  Villanueva was ruled out by home plate umpire John Bacon.  Manager Jason Wood and Pitching Coach Brad Holman were both ejected in the aftermath.

Myrtle Beach now returns home to the Grand Strand for a 7:05 start against the Winston-Salem Dash.  It’s Summer Olympics Night with a picture frame giveaway to the first 1,000 fans in attendance.

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