Pelicans swept by Mudcats in slow start to second half

pel-6Lightning and rain halted play mid-game on Saturday as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans visited the Carolina Mudcats at Five County Stadium. Carolina led 3-1 with the bases loaded in the sixth inning when the weather forced a delay of two-hours and sixteen-minutes.

However the Mudcats went on to secure a 4-3 win, as well as a series sweep, after play resumed.

The Pelicans (41-31, 0-3 second half) had not been swept all season and had never been swept by the Mudcats until Saturday night’s loss. Carolina joined the league in 2012.

The Mudcats (37-35, 3-0 second half) grabbed the early advantage against Pelicans starter Jen-Ho Tseng with a pair of run-scoring doubles in the bottom of the first inning. First baseman Jacob Schrader lined a two-out RBI double down the left field line, and third baseman Carlos Franco followed suit with a booming hit off the left field wall to give Carolina a 2-0 lead.

Later in the fifth, left fielder Dustin Peterson knocked a two-out RBI single to left to expand Carolina’s lead to 3-0.

Mudcats starter Steve Janas shut out the Birds in his five innings on the mound on Saturday. However when hard-throwing right-hander Mauricio Cabrera took over in the sixth, Pin-Chieh Chen greeted him with a double into the right-center field gap. Two batters later, Jeimer Candelario drove in a run with an RBI double down the left-field line before back-to-back walks prompted a pitching change. With the bases loaded, right-hander Britt Robertshaw took over and retired Carlos Penalver with a foul out on two pitches.

The game was placed into a delay after that at-bat. Before Daniel Lockhart stepped to the plate, lightning flashed in the distance beyond right field, and the game was halted immediately.

When play resumed after a two-hour and 16-minute rain delay, Lockhart flew out to right field to end the inning.

Carolina catcher Joe Odom led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to right, and three batters later, center fielder Connor Lien drove him in with a double for a 4-1 Mudcats lead.

Myrtle Beach rallied in the eighth for a pair of runs to close the gap. Chesny Young walked and moved to second base when Jeimer Candelario singled to right field. Tanner Krietemeier bobbled the ball in right, and his error allowed Young to move to third. Two batters later, Caratini knocked in a run with an RBI single to left. After a strikeout, Lockhart singled up the middle to trim the Mudcats’ lead to 4-3, but Trey Martin flew out to center to end the inning.

Mark Zagunis walked to begin the ninth inning, and Chen moved him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, but right-hander Caleb Dirks retired the next two batters to close out the game for his first save.

Tseng (2-5) allowed three earned runs on six hits across five frames on the mound in the loss. Janas (5-0) picked up the win, allowing three hits and pair of walks while also hitting a batter. He has not allowed a run in 23 consecutive innings.

The Pelicans continue their six-game, two-city road trip when they open a series against the Winston-Salem Dash on Sunday at BB&T Ballpark. The first pitch is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

 

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