Pelicans rally past Keys to take divisional driver’s seat

pel-martinez1 (2)A day after their five-game win streak was snapped, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans rebounded with a 6-4 victory against the Frederick Keys on Wednesday night at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

Chesny Young and Mark Zagunis each extended their hit streaks as starter Jonathan Martinez matched a season high six innings pitched. The Pelicans (24-13) extended their lead in the Carolina League Southern Division to 4.5 games.

The Pelicans (24-13) fell behind early for the second straight night on Wednesday. A two-out walk and a single set up an opportunity for Keys right fielder Tucker Nathans, who launched a three-run home run in the first inning. Martinez settled in after that to retire six batters consecutively. He then surrendered back-to-back two-out singles in the third, but finished the night by working perfect fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

The Keys (21-19) ran into trouble in the fifth. With a strikeout to open the frame, Frederick starter Jarrett Miller proceeded to walk three straight batters to load the bases. A walk to Jacob Rogers was Miller’s sixth of the night, prompting a move to the Keys bullpen. Reliever Jimmy Yacabonis came on to strike out Victor Caratini, but Carlos Penalver then lined a bases clearing triple to left-centerfield to tie the game at 3-3.

Young paced the comeback while extending his Pelicans hit streak to five games with a pair of timely hits in the late innings. His one-out RBI single in the sixth gave the Pelicans a 4-3 lead, and he provided insurance with another run-scoring hit in the eighth. He later scored on a wild pitch to put Myrtle Beach ahead 6-3. Young had an active three-game hit streak before his promotion from Class-A South Bend on May 12, giving the righty batter an eight-game hitting streak across two leagues.

Left-hander James Pugliese replaced Martinez in the top of the seventh and struck out the first two men that he faced. He cruised from there until Nathans singled to right field and scored on and RBI single by shortstop Adrian Marin. However designated hitter Brenden Webb struck out swinging to end the ball game.

Mark Zagunis also extended his career-high hit-streak to 10 games when he stroked a first-pitch single to centerfield to lead off the third.

In his six frames on the mound, Martinez (2-1) picked up his second win, striking out two while walking one. Miller (2-1) surrendered three earned runs in 4 1/3 innings of work with three punchouts in the no decision. Despite five strikeouts, Yacabonis (1-2) took his second loss after giving up just one earned run in his 1 2/3 innings.

Photo by Larry Kave/ Myrtle Beach Pelicans

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