Pelicans win first-half title, split twinbill with Mudcats

A funny thing happened after the opening game of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans’ doubleheader with the Carolina Mudcats on Saturday night – the Pelicans celebrated after a loss.

That’s because despite having their eight-game winning streak snapped by the Mudcats in an 8-2 defeat in the debut, the Pelicans learned that Carolina League Southern Division rival Winston-Salem lost, allowing Myrtle Beach to clinch the first=half title and a playoff berth.

The Pelicans celebrated the first-half championship repeat by defeating Carolina 5-1 in the nightcap, improving to 39-29 on the season and 24-11 at home. They are going to the postseason for the third straight season and for the seventh time in franchise history.

While the Pelicans were still in progress in the first game of a double-header, the Winston-Salem Dash lost to the Wilmington Blue Rocks which put the Pelicans in the postseason.

Right-hander Joe Van Meter (2-3) worked 3.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen in game two and earned the win. Rob Nixon (0-2) took the game two loss, allowing five runs, four earned, on five hits over three innings.

Van Meter relieved Paul Schwendel, who went 3.2 innings and allowed one earned run on three hits.

Jake Skole paced the offense in the second game adding an RBI double and a sacrifice fly. Luis Sardinas notched two hits.

The Pelicans have made the postseason in each of Jason Wood’s three years at the helm. The Pelicans are in search of their first outright Carolina League championship since 2000.

The Pelicans wrap up a four-day, five-game series Sunday with the Carolina Mudcats at TicketReturn.com Field. Left-hander Victor Payano (5-3, 3.84) will be opposed by righty Cody Anderson (6-3, 2.65).

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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