Pelicans swept, scoreless streak reaches 24 innings

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Right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng pitched six perfect innings for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans before his bid at history was snapped by a lead-off single in the top of the seventh. That hit would go on to sink the Birds against the Winston-Salem Dash, who took away a 1-0 win at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

The Pelicans have not scored a run in 24 consecutive innings as the Dash completed a three-game series sweep.

Tseng fired a career-high eight innings on Thursday, and he held the Dash off the base paths through the first six while racking up five strikeouts. Center fielder Adam Engel, who also ended Duane Underwood Jr.’s no-hit bid with a lead-off single in the seventh on April 18, became the first Dash baserunner when he repeated the feat by singling to left field to open the seventh. A sacrifice bunt moved him into scoring position, and third baseman Trey Michalczewski loped a single to right field to give the Dash (39-45, 9-5 second half) the only run of the game.

Tseng remained on the mound for the eighth inning, hitting the first batter he faced, but bounced back by turning the tail end of a spectacular double play. On a ground ball to first base, Jacob Rogers fired to second where Carlos Penalver turned the play back to first, and Tseng slid feet-first into the base while catching the ball in the air. He then worked out of the frame with a ground out to second.

In the last six games against the Dash, the Pelicans (46-38, 5-10 second half) have dropped five of them and three by just one run. Thursday’s loss marked the first back-to-back shutouts the Birds have suffered since June 6-7 of last season, and the offense has been scoreless over its last 24 innings.

Right-hander Matt Heidenreich dueled alongside Tseng, retiring the first 11 Pelicans batters he faced, but Jeimer Candelario snapped Heidenreich’s run with a two-out double off the right field wall in the fourth. The Birds would load the bases in that inning but failed to score when Kevin Brown grounded out to second base.

The Pelicans put runners into scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings but failed to score. In the ninth, Brown crushed a two-out double to deep right-center field, but Penalver struck out swinging against Euclides Leyer to end the ballgame.

Right-hander Josh Conway pitched a scoreless ninth inning in which he allowed one hit and a walk, but the righty struck out the final two batters he faced.

Heidenreich (9-2) totaled five strikeouts and one walk in his seven innings on the mound. His nine wins are the most in the Carolina League. Leyer shut out the Pelicans in the eighth and ninth innings en route to his first save of the season.

Tseng (2-6) took the tough-luck loss after allowing just one earned run on two base hits. The right-hander fanned five batters without allowing a walk.

The Pelicans continue their homestand when they begin a four-game set against the Carolina Mudcats on Friday. The first pitch from TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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