Pelicans rally past Dash in Game 1 of playoff series

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, prevailed with four big runs in the sixth after being no-hit until that point to propel themselves to a 4-1 win over the Winston-Salem Dash. A bases clearing three run triple by Tomas Telis unlocked the score at 1 and gave Pelicans pitchers more than enough cushion to close out game one of the Carolina League Southern Division series.

After four and a half innings of a Pitcher’s duel by the Pelicans Luke Jackson and Dash Erik Johnson, 2012 1st round pick Courtney Hawkins of Winston-Salem hit a towering homerun to left field on a low and away Luke Jackson curveball to put the Dash up 1-0.

Myrtle Beach was sparked again by Odubel Herrera who beat out an infield single with two outs. That woke up the bats for the Birds as Hanser Alberto tripled to centerfield scoring Herrera and tying the game up. Dash centerfielder Keenyn Walker made an ill-advised diving attempt at the ball, missed and it rolled all the way to the wall. Brett Nicholas and Vinny DiFazio then loaded the bases with back to back walks on very quality at-bats which forced Dash manager Tommy Thompson to come and pull his starter Johnson, who had done so well. He brought in one of his best relievers, Terrance Marin, in to get out of the jam for Winston-Salem. Telis took a 1-1 slider in and crushed a line drive triple to right scoring Alberto, Nicholas and DiFazio.

That is all that Pelicans relievers needed as Phil Klein, Jimmy Reyes and Ben Rowen held the lead giving up only two hits over the final four innings. Starter Luke Jackson ended up going five very solid but tough innings against arguably the best lineup in Advanced-A baseball. He allowed only the one run on the homerun to Hawkins and just three hits as well. He struck out eight Dash hitters and walked three. Johnson was just as good as the beginning, no hitting the Pelicans through five and two-thirds innings. He only allowed two hits and struck out eight. All four runs were charged to Johnson.

Game two of the series is set for 7PM on Thursday night at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem. Should the Pelicans win, Friday would be an off-day before the Mills Cup Series on Saturday. If the Dash win then it will be same place, same time on Friday. Joe Van Meter will take the mound for the Pelicans against Scott Snodgress who the Pelicans have seen twice in 2012. Tickets for possible Mills Cup games are available at both the box office or online. Fo

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