Pelicans fall again in extras; Top draft pick on the way

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans (64-49, 24-20) lost 3-2 to the Frederick Keys in 11 innings at TicketReturn.com Field.

The Pelicans dropped the series with the Keys two games to one and lost their fourth extra inning game of the season.

The Pelicans and Keys were scoreless heading into extra innings before the two offenses came alive. The Keys took the lead into the tenth on a Johnny Ruettiger RBI single. Preston Beck tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning and the Pelicans would strand the potential winning run 90 feet away in the frame.

Randol Rojas entered in the 11th inning and surrendered a solo home run to Jerome Pena. The Keys got another run on an RBI single from Michael Mosby. Rojas (3-3) took the loss, giving up two earned runs on two hits in the inning. Gene Escat (6-6) blew the save in the tenth inning but would earn the win. Jesse Beal got the final two outs and tallied his second save of the season.

Beck tallied two hits to pace the Pelicans, who had just three hits in the first nine innings.

Left-hander Victor Payano left after two batters in the first inning. Will Lamb got the final three outs of the first inning, getting out of a bases-loaded jam. Lamb struck out four of the first six batters he faced and would turn in two scoreless innings of work. The Pelicans ended up using six different pitchers in the game.

Nick McBride shined for the Birds, working four scoreless innings with four strikeouts.

The Pelicans continue play Thursday when the Potomac Nationals come to town for a three-game series at Pelicans Ballpark. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

* The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, in conjunction with the Texas Rangers, have announced that Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez, the 23rd overall pick from this year’s draft, will join the club and be active for the team’s home game Thursday with the Potomac Nationals at TicketReturn.com Field.

Gonzalez, 21, was drafted this June in the first round out of Oral Roberts University. A native of Delray Beach, Fla., Gonzalez began his professional  career this season with the short season Spokane Indians. In nine starts, Gonzalez went 0-4 with a 4.56 ERA in 23.2 innings of work.

In 15 starts for Oral Roberts this spring, Gonzalez went 9-5 with a 1.83 earned run average in 113.1 innings of work. He struck out 126 and walked just 27 during the stretch.

The Pelicans also announced Tuesday that right-hander Nick Martinez has been promoted to Double-A Frisco. He accompanies right-hander, Jerad Eickhoff, who joined the RoughRiders Monday. Martinez won a team-leading 10 games before his promotion while Eickhoff went  7-3 with a 3.41 earned run average in 21 starts.

The Pelicans have received Luis Parra, a 21-year-old left-hander from the Dominican Republic. In 15 starts with the Crawdads, Parra went 5-4 with a 2.34 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 80.2 innings.

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