Pelicans’ streak halted at 8 but Young extends record

pel-youngwhiteOne day after a 12-0 win, including the team’s first grand slam of the year, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans were overpowered by home runs in their series opener against the Lynchburg Hillcats on Wednesday.

With five long balls in the game at Calvin Falwell Field, Lynchburg tied a Hillcats’-era-high in home runs. The loss also snapped the Birds’ season-best eight-game win-streak.

Chesny Young, who broke the Carolina League consecutive on-base record on Sunday, extended that streak to 41 games with his third-inning single to right field, while stretching his current hit-streak to 11 games. He also collected his 28th multi-hit game with the Pelicans with a single in the ninth inning.

With right fielder Luigi Rodriguez aboard by way of a leadoff single in the first, first baseman Nellie Rodriguez lifted his league-leading fourteenth home run of the year over the left-field wall to give Lynchburg (43-52, 12-15 second half) a 2-0 lead. In the second, the Hillcats extended their lead to 4-0 against Pelicans starter Jonathan Martinez with a run-scoring triple and an RBI single.

The Pelicans (56-40, 15-12 second half) responded in the top of the third thanks to an RBI fielder’s choice by Pin-Chieh Chen. Two batters later, Victor Caratini drove a double to the right field wall to score Chen and to cut the Hillcats’ lead to 4-2.

However Lynchburg pounced for another marker by way of Nellie Rodriguez’s second home run of the game, a solo shot towards the batter’s eye in center field in the third. In the bottom of the fifth, right fielder Clint Frazier also teed off with his eleventh long ball of the year, a three-run blast to left-center, to push Lynchburg ahead, 8-2. Martinez (6-2) finished the frame but was replaced by right-hander David Garner after four innings of work.

Caratini knocked in the Pelicans’ next two runs in the fifth and the seventh, but Lynchburg took both of them back.

Garner retired the first seven of eight batters he faced, but with one out in the seventh, left fielder Dorssys Paulino lifted a solo homer to left-center field for a 9-4 Hillcats advantage. The next batter, catcher Sicnarf Loopstok, slapped a line drive over the left-field fence on the first pitch, capping the scoring and putting Lynchburg on top, 10-4.

Martinez suffered the loss after allowing a career-high eight earned runs on a career-high 11 hits.

With 6 1/3 innings on the mound, Hillcats starter D.J. Brown (8-3) picked up the win. The right-hander allowed four runs, all earned, on eight base hits, and the bullpen combined for 2 2/3 shutout innings of relief.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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