Pelicans split doubleheader to snap 4-game losing skid

pel-pitchThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, split their doubleheader against the Carolina Mudcats at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark on Ernie Banks Tribute Night.

The sixth inning of each game proved pivotal for both teams on Friday as the Mudcats rallied for three late runs to win 5-3 in the first game. Pelicans shortstop Carlos Penalver stroked a two out, three-run double in the sixth inning to complete the game two comeback and a 5-2 win.

Carolina (25-27) grabbed the early lead in the opener when third baseman Carlos Franco hit a solo home run to right field in the second inning.

Jeimer Candelario helped the Birds respond when he doubled to open the bottom of the second. With the infield drawn in, Jacob Rogers grounded to second baseman Kieth Curcio, who bobbled the ball before throwing to the plate. Candelario beat the throw home with an elusive slide to tie the game at 1-1.

Myrtle Beach (32-20) moved in front thanks a go-ahead home run by Mark Zagunis in the third. Pin-Chieh Chen then singled and stole second base before Chesny Young gave the Birds a 3-1 lead with a single to left.

Pelicans starter Duane Underwood Jr. allowed just two singles and a walk after the home run to Franco, but ran into trouble in the sixth. Shortstop Johan Camargo reached with an infield base hit before Underwood Jr. induced a pop out in the next at-bat. Back-to-back singles loaded the bases, and first baseman Jacob Schrader doubled into the left-center field gap to score three runs and grab a 4-2 lead.

The Mudcats tacked on another run in the seventh inning before sealing the 5-3 win. In 5 1/3 innings, Underwood Jr. (5-2) took his second loss of the year after allowing seven hits and four earned runs. The right-hander also struck out four while walking one.

Penalver’s heroics in game two came with two outs and the bases-loaded in the sixth inning. Zagunis drew his league-leading fortieth walk of the year to begin the frame before Chen slapped a single to left that sent Zagunis to third base. Reliever Matt Marksberry came on and surrendered a game-tying knock to Young. The left-hander then hit Candelario with a pitch but bounced back to strike out the next two batters. Penalver stepped to the plate and clubbed a go-ahead double into the gap in left-center field to snatch a 5-2 lead.

Photo by Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

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