Pelicans tussle with Mudcats in heat; fish win

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, got into a track meet with the Carolina Mudcats Friday, falling 9-6 at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

A run was scored in the first four half innings of Friday’s affair, with the Pelicans leading 5-3 after three innings.  Myrtle Beach excelled early, using a first inning two-run homerun from Christian Villanueva to tie the game at two.  It was Villanueva’s team leading sixth homer.

The Birds scored twice in the second as well, going in front for the first time, 4-3.  The runs came in when Odubel Herrera beat out an infield single.  Cafe Martinez scored right away and Edwin Garcia, who had doubled to reach, scored after the play halted.  Garcia came home capitalizing on a moment of pause from Carolina first baseman Jesus Aguilar.  The hulking fielder was upset with the safe call on Herrera, immediately arguing with base umpire Jansen Visconti.  Aguilar was ejected in the confrontation.

Still leading after the first scoreless inning of the game in the top of the third, the Pelicans stretched the lead to 5-3 with a bases loaded sac fly from Martinez in the third.  It was the last time the Pelicans would score until the seventh.

In the interim the Mudcats scored often, getting to starter Randol Rojas for seven runs in five and a third.  Ronny Rodriguez led the assault with two homeruns, his seventh and eighth.  The Mudcats wound up with seven extra base hits, one shy of a season high for a Myrtle Beach opponent.

Down in the seventh 7-5, Myrtle Beach threatened again, scoring one run but leaving the bases loaded.  The threat was curtailed when leftfielder Bo Greenwell made a diving catch to rob Martinez and end the inning.  The Pelicans put runners on in both the eighth and ninth innings but couldn’t beat Mudcats closer Grant Sides.

The loss drops Myrtle Beach to 6-3 in the second half and into a first place tie with Carolina in the Carolina League South Division.  The rubber game of the series is Saturday at 7:05.  For ticketing information call 843-918-6000 or visit MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.

Photo courtesy of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans

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