Pelicans strand 11 runners as comeback bid falls short

pel-22Facing a four-run deficit, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans rallied back to pull with one run on two separate occasions on Wednesday night but ultimately dropped a 5-4 contest to the Salem Red Sox at LewisGale Field. Jen-Ho Tseng surrendered all five runs on a career-high 11 hits, and the Pelicans left on 11 men on base in the losing effort.

The Pelicans (68-47, 27-19 second half) were playing from behind almost the entire game after Tseng allowed four runs in the second inning. Yolian Cerse smashed a two-run homer to left field to open the scoring, part of a run of seven consecutive Salem hitters to reach base in the frame. The Red Sox (55-61, 17-29 second half) left the bases loaded but not before they had taken a 4-0 lead.

Myrtle Beach began the comeback trail in the fourth, when Ben Carhart singled to lead off the inning. He moved to second on a wild pitch and then next 180 feet on back-to-back fielder’s choices to put the Pelicans on the scoreboard.

With a two-run fifth inning, the Pelicans pulled within one run. Salem hurler Kevin McAvoy walked Chesny Young to begin the inning before allowing consecutive RBI doubles to Pin-Chieh Chen, who doubled twice in the game, and Jason Vosler, cutting the lead to 4-3. Of the ten Pelicans hits, seven were doubles.

Salem would never relinquish their lead, however, scoring a run in the bottom of the sixth before the Pelicans mustered one in the top of the seventh to make it 5-4.

Down 5-4 in the eighth, the Pelicans collected doubles from Jordan Hankins and Young, but Hankins advanced only one base on Young’s fly ball double to right field which was nearly caught by right fielder Kevin Heller. Both runners were stranded, and Salem reliever Chandler Shepherd retired the final five Pelicans he faced to nail down his fourth save.

The Pelicans went 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position on the night.

Tseng (5-7), who allowed five runs, all earned, in six innings of work, took the loss. He did not walk a batter but did hit one and struck out five. McAvoy (8-9) picked up the win.

Both the Pelicans and the Winston-Salem Dash lost on Wednesday, so the Dash remain two games up on the Pelicans in the Southern Division Second Half standings.

The Pelicans conclude the three-game set with the Salem Red Sox on Thursday in another 7:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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