Vosler’s walk-off HR lifts Pelicans in 12-inning duel

pel-voslerWith two outs in the twelfth inning of a scoreless game, third baseman Jason Vosler crushed a walk-off, solo home run over the right-center field fence as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans edged the Wilmington Blue Rocks 1-0 at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark on Saturday night.

It was the first walk-off homer of the 21-year-old’s career and the Pelicans’ third walk-off home run this year. Back on August 5, Vosler crushed a game-tying, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth off of Ashton Goudeau before the Birds walked off the Blue Rocks in the bottom of the 10th. On Saturday, Vosler stepped to the plate with two outs in the twelfth and took Goudeau deep to right-center field to win the ballgame.

In front of a sellout crowd of 5,019, stingy pitching efforts from both sides of the diamond kept the game scoreless through the first 11-and-a-half innings of the ballgame. The Blue Rocks (60-71, 22-39 second half) threatened early against Pelicans starting pitcher Paul Blackburn, but the right-hander turned the visitors away each time. After a 1-2-3 top of the first inning, Blackburn surrendered a leadoff single to first baseman Ryan O’Hearn before hitting a man and walking the next batter to load the bases. However the Cubs’ 2012 first-round pick worked around the jam with an infield popup, a looking strikeout, and a groundout to keep the game scoreless.

Myrtle Beach (77-53, 36-25 second half) was held hitless through the first three innings against Wilmington starter Matthew Strahm. The left-hander allowed a two-out walk in the bottom of the first, but he did not surrender a base hit until Pin-Chieh Chen led off the fourth with a soft single up the middle. Strahm went on to induce a double play and a lineout to end the inning. He finished with 5 1/3 shutout innings of work in the book and surrendered just two hits and two walks while striking out four in a no decision.

With the combination of the Dash’s win and the Carolina Mudcats’ loss on Saturday, the Dash clinched their first postseason berth since 2012, so the Pelicans will play Winston-Salem in the Southern Division Championship Series.

The Pelicans wrap up their series against the Blue Rocks on Sunday in the final home game of the regular season. Myrtle Beach will hand the ball to right-hander Tyler Skulina (3-5, 3.29) while Wilmington turns to right-hander Pedro Fernandez (0-4, 9.26). The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. ET.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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