Big crowd sends Pelicans into break on winning note

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans closed the first half of the season with a resounding 5-0 shutout of the Potomac Nationals Sunday in front of a standing room only, sellout crowd of 5,432 at Pelicans Ballpark.

The Birds wasted no time jumping on the P-Nats, scoring in the first to go up 1-0.  Cafe Martinez reached to lead off, scooting to first on a wild pitch on strike three.  Martinez immediately stole second and Tomas Telis then singled to right.  Brett Nicholas came through with the RBI, flying out to left and bringing Cafe home.

The Pelicans added in the second with a leadoff homer from Christian Villanueva.  The shot was his fourth of the season.  That’s when things got interesting.  Jake Skole walked ahead of a flyout from Josh Richmond.  Santiago Chirino then reached on a fielder’s choice to record the inning’s second out.

Edwin Garcia came through after, bouncing a ball over Ricky Hague at shortstop and bringing Chirino home for a 3-0 lead.  Martinez reached base right after on an error by Blake Kelso at third, but could not score.

Myrtle Beach added to its run total in the eighth when reliever Shane McCatty loaded the bases on walks.  He was replaced by Neil Holland who induced a groundout from Garcia 5-2.  Catcher Erick Fernandez then threw to first looking for a double play.  He instead fired into right field to bring in a run.  Martinez reached E6 right after, scoring Chirino for a 5-0 final.

On the mound the Pelicans got five innings of four-hit ball from Randol Rojas.  He earned his fifth win and lowered his ERA to 1.47.  Joe Van Meter, Francisco Mendoza, Matt West and Zach Osborne finished the Pelicans league best 9th shutout.  West made his season debut, walking two but striking out one.

Myrtle Beach now takes its all-star break, with Kyle Hendricks, Cody Buckel and Randy Henry on the Carolina League roster for Tuesday’s game at Winston-Salem.

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