Pelicans stay hot at home by giving Mudcats the hook

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans (29-16) won their second straight one-run game Wednesday, holding on to defeat the Carolina Mudcats 3-2 at Pelicans Ballpark.

The Pelicans have won the first two games of the series and will try for their third straight home sweep Thursday.

With the score 3-1 in the ninth inning, the Mudcats had the bases loaded with nobody down. Jose Monegro entered and got cleanup hitter Jordan Smith to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, cutting the margin to 3-2. After a walk to Tony Wolters, Monegro struck out Bo Greenwell to earn his first Pelicans save.

Jerad Eickhoff (4-2) earned the win for the Birds, hurling a career-best eight innings. It was the longest outing from a Pelicans pitcher this season. The right-hander allowed two earned runs on seven hits with three strikeouts. At one point, Eickhoff retired 10 straight batters between the fifth and eighth innings.

“I felt like at the start of it I was sweating a little more and was overcoming that,” Eickhoff said. “I usually try to slow everything down and try and attack the strike zone and just let my defense work for me and they did tonight.”

Starter Robert Whitenack (0-1) took the loss for the Mudcats, surrendering one earned run on four hits over five innings. The Birds took the early lead on an RBI ground out from the league’s RBI leader, Trever Adams. Though the Mudcats threatened late, the Pelicans first-inning lead held up.

With a 1-0 advantage in the eighth inning, the Pelicans added a pair of insurance runs on a two-out, two-run single from Edwin Garcia. The infielder, who supplied the game-winner last night, paced the Pelicans finishing 3-for-4.

The Pelicans made several nice defensive plays behind Eickhoff. Chris Grayson made a sliding catch to rob Francisco Lindor of a hit in the first inning. Preston Beck showed off his arm in the fourth inning, throwing out Lindor trying to score on a base hit from Joey Wendle. The Mudcats tallied three hits in the fourth but did not plate a run.

“That was huge,” Eickhoff said. “It kind of saved the game for us. I don’t know if anyone else felt it, but I felt the momentum swing our way and I was fortunate enough to continue that and keep things rolling. I told him about ten times in the dugout what an outstanding throw that was.”

The Pelicans have the best home winning percentage in all of High-A, improving to 18-4 at Pelicans Ballpark this season. Myrtle Beach has won 11 straight home games.

The Pelicans play the final game of a three-game series Thursday with the Carolina Mudcats, Class-A Advanced affiliates of the Cleveland Indians. Right-hander Alec Asher (4-2, 2.70) will take on Carolina’s left-hander Shawn Morimando (1-5, 4.05). First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

 

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