Wood Ducks turn tables on Pelicans in shutout victory

pel-ruckerpitchThe Down East Wood Ducks turned the tables on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, snapping their three-game shutout streak and blanking the Pelicans in Friday’s series opener.

Myrtle Beach starter Mike Rucker worked a career-high six innings, but the Pelicans suffered a 2-0 to the Wood Ducks at Grainger Stadium in Kinston, NC.

The game was scoreless in the third inning when Rucker (1-1) yielded a one out single to LeDarious Clark. The Wood Ducks (24-43) left fielder stole second in a play in which the Pelicans (41-27) made two errors, bringing Clark all the way around to score the game’s first run. It was the first time the Pelicans had yielded a run in four games.

After Rucker (1-1) struck out Matt Lipka, the right-hander walked Brallan Perez, who promptly swiped second. Yanio Perez then dunked an RBI single into right-center to make it 2-0. The two runs in the third halted Myrtle Beach’s scoreless innings streak at a club-record 33 frames.

That was too much for the Pelicans’ offense. Down East starter Jonathan Hernandez (1-2) pitched six shutout innings, scattering four hits and two walks. Adam Choplick came in to pitch 1.2 scoreless innings of relief before departing for Wood Ducks closer Ricardo Rodriguez.

Rodriguez entered with P.J. Higgins on first and two outs in the eighth inning. However, the right-hander induced Eloy Jimenez to fly to center to end the threat. Rodriguez then fanned two in a perfect ninth to earn his 10th save.

Rucker surrendered just two runs, one earned, on three hits in his career-high six frames. The right-hander matched a career-high by whiffing six. Jordan Minch and James Norwood each tossed a perfect inning out of the bullpen.

Myrtle Beach and Down East will play the third game of a four-game set with Saturday’s 6 p.m. contest.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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