Balaguert, Vosler homer to lift Pelicans past Nationals

pel-vosler44The Myrtle Beach Pelicans got home runs from Jason Vosler and Yasiel Balaguert and a solid pitching performance from Zach Hedges to earn a 6-2 win over the Potomac Nationals Saturday at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

The Pelicans (29-26) brought the power early against Nationals (29-24) starter Matthew Crownover (0-1). In a scoreless game in the bottom of the second, Vosler struck a solo home run to right field to give Myrtle Beach a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the third, Charcer Burks pulled a double down the line in left before Rashad Crawford reached on a fielder’s choice throw that was unsuccessful in nabbing Burks at third. Two batters later, Ian Happ flew out to center to plate Burks and make it 2-0 Pelicans. The next batter was Balaguert, who demolished his eighth home run of the year over the bleachers in left to double the Birds lead to 4-0.

From there, Hedges (5-4) would settle in. Hedges scattered six hits over his first six innings, stranding six runners to keep the Nationals off the board.

With Myrtle Beach leading 4-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Burks doubled to the gap with two outs to set up an RBI single from Crawford, which extended the Birds lead to 5-0.

However, Hedges would run into trouble in the seventh. Four of the first five Potomac (29-24) batters picked up hits, plating a pair of runs to make the score 5-2. Hedges wound up with two runs allowed over 6.2 innings. Nine of the ten hits he gave up were singles.

Tommy Thorpe got the Pelicans out of trouble in the seventh when Crawford made a diving catch to keep the score at 5-2.

Against reliever Gilberto Mendez in the bottom of the seventh, Myrtle Beach got the leadoff man on when Happ walked. After a groundout advanced Happ to second, Jeffrey Baez singled to right to bring in Happ and make the score 6-2.

Leading by four, Thorpe and the Pelicans got into a jam in the top of the eighth. After a throwing error with one out, Thorpe allowed a single and a walk to load the bases. Myrtle Beach then turned to closer James Farris, who struck out Narciso Mesa before getting Andrew Stevenson to fly out to end the threat and keep the score at 5-2.

Farris worked a perfect ninth inning to pick up his eighth save of the year.

The Pelicans and Nationals will meet again on Sunday beginning at 6:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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