Pelicans work extra innings to secure victory over Keys

pel-6The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, let a 6-2 lead slip away in the ninth inning before rallying to win 9-6 in eleven innings on Wednesday against the Frederick Keys at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium.

Victor Caratini posted his first three RBI game of the year, knocked in the go-ahead run in extra innings, and collected the lone extra-base hit in the Pelicans’ 18-hit attack.

In a 6-6 game in the eleventh, the Pelicans scored three times off of former starting pitcher Jarett Miller to pull away for good, as Juan Paniagua closed out the ballgame with two scoreless innings. Victor Caratini, Jacob Rogers, and Daniel Lockhart all drove in eleventh-inning runs to ice the game away.

The Pelicans (35-23) had attained their largest lead of the night, scoring three times in the top of the ninth, but the four-run lead vanished in the bottom half. In a 6-2 game, Tyler Ihrig returned for a second-inning after a scoreless eighth inning. Back-to-back singles chased him from the contest, and the Birds turned to Jasvir Rakkar.

The Pelicans closer blew his second save in as many chances. Both inherited runners scored and two more to his line came across, one unearned. Chance Sisco knocked in one on a single, a throwing error from Rakkar to second base brought in another, and Josh Hart brought the Keys (28-31) to within one on a double to left field.

In a 6-5 game with two in scoring position, Rakkar got a pop out and a strikeout to put the Birds an out away from a win. After the count ran to 3-0 against Tucker Nathan, the Pelicans elected to intentionally walk the left fielder. The fourth ball sailed over the catcher Caratini, allowing the tying-run to score. After another walk to the load the bases, Drew Dosch grounded out to end the inning and send the game to the extra innings.

The four-run bottom-half capped a seven-run ninth inning. The Pelicans scored three runs in the top half against Nik Nowottnick. Trey Martin, Kevin Brown, and Mark Zagunis smacked consecutive singles to make it 4-2, and Caratinibrought in two more a double to make it 6-2, a four-run lead without which, the Pelicans would not have been able to sustain the four-run bottom half of the inning.

The Pelicans never trailed in the contest. Rogers put the Birds on top with a two-run single in the first, and, after Frederick posted one run on Duane Underwood Jr. in the bottom of the first, Zagunis drove in his first run of the night in the second.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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