Pelicans salvage split with Keys in key doubleheader

pel-pitch2015The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, split their doubleheader with the Frederick Keys on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium.

A six-run sixth inning propelled the Birds past the Keys 7-1 in game one, but Frederick put together a three-run fourth to move past Myrtle Beach in game two, taking the back-half of the doubleheader 5-1.

In a tie game, the Pelicans (34-23) brought 12 men to the plate in the sixth inning of game one. Keys lefty starter Chris Lee had worked five innings of one-run ball but allowed the first three to reach to open the sixth frame. He left with the bases loaded. Against Keys closer Cody Wheeler, Myrtle Beach brought all three inherited runners around and three more on the line of Wheeler. Kevin Brown drew a seven-pitch, bases loaded walk to put the Pelicans ahead 2-1. Still with no outs, Trey Martin and Daniel Lockhart both singled in runs, all before the first out.

A wild pitch, a fielder’s choice, and another bases-loaded walk scored three more runs in the inning. In total, the six Pelicans runs came on three hits, five walks, and a hit batter. Pelicans manager Mark Johnson was ejected in the inning after it appeared that Daniel Lockhart had been hit by a pitch, but the pitch was ruled a ball.

Mark Zagunis, who drew three walks in the doubleheader, opened the game with a walk. He moved to second and then third on consecutive fielder’s choices and scored on an infield single to shortstop by Jacob Rogers.

Jonathan Martinez (4-1) earned the win in game one, allowing one run on a solo homer from Logan Uxa in the third to tie the game, scattering four hits and a walk. He struck out four Keys over five innings. He has thrown five or more innings and given up three runs or less in all nine of his starts.

Zach Cates worked the final two frames, posted two scoreless on two singles and a walk with a strikeout. Lee (1-2), the Keys starter, took the loss, allowing four earned runs in five-plus innings.

Daury Torrez was staked to a 1-0 lead before throwing his first pitch in game two. With two outs, Chesny Young singled on a soft line drive to right field, then stole second base, and came around to score on a line drive to right field by Victor Caratini, who was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double. It was the only run the club scored in the seven-inning game.

Frederick (28-30) knotted the game on another third-inning homer, this time from Anthony Caronia. With one out in the fourth, Brenden Webb smashed his sixth home run of the year to straightaway center field to put the Keys ahead for good.

The Keys scored three in the inning and tacked on another in the sixth. Caronia went 3-for-3 and drove in a four runs.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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