Pelicans take fourth straight loss, division lead dwindles

pel-11The Myrtle Beach Pelicans suffered their fourth straight loss in a 5-3 defeat to the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Tuesday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, dropping their lead in the Carolina League Southern Division standings to only one game with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

Wilmington (27-27, 60-62) struck for three runs on three solo home runs against Pelicans starter Sam Wolff to take the lead in the top of the second. Zane Evans led off with his fifth home run of the season to put the Rocks up 1-0. With two outs, Cam Gallagher and Jared Schlehuber hit back-to-back home runs to give Wilmington a 3-0 lead.

The Blue Rocks increased their lead to 5-0 in the sixth. Bubba Starling led off with a double, and advanced to third on Evans’ single. Then Cody Buckel entered the game to relieve Wolff. He struck out the first two batters he faced before walking Gallagher to load the bases. On a 1-2 count, Schlehuber hit a two-run single into left field to give the Rocks a 5-0 lead.

Blue Rocks starter Sean Manaea won his sixth game of the season, striking out nine batters in the game. Wolff pitched five-plus innings in the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking one.

The Pelicans (30-27, 74-51) scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning to cut the Blue Rocks’ lead to 5-3. Luis Mendez led off the inning with a single, and then Lewis Brinson and Christopher Bostick walked to load the bases with nobody out. Ryan Cordell, making his Pelicans home debut, hit a sacrifice fly to score Mendez. In the next at-bat, Preston Beck hit an RBI single to score Brinson and cut the lead to 5-2. After Beck’s RBI single, Daniel Stumpf entered in relief. Stumpf walked Royce Bolinger to load the bases with one out, and Kellin Deglan hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Bostick. Stumpf then struck out Chris Grayson to end the inning.

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