Balaguert’s blasts power Pelicans past Mudcats

pel-12BalaguertYasiel Balaguert homered twice and Charcer Burks delivered a go-ahead two run triple to propel the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to a 10-7 win and series victory over the Carolina Mudcats Wednesday in front of 4,095 fans at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

The Pelicans (54-49, 18-15) scored five runs or more Wednesday for the 17th time in their last 21 games, the most in recorded franchise history, which dates back through 2004.

With the game tied 7-7 in the bottom of the eighth, Pelicans right fielder Daniel Spingola drew a walk in front of Erick Castillo, who bunted him to second. Mudcats (41-62, 12-21) reliever Zach Bird (3-2) then issued Bryant Flete a free pass to put runners at first and second with one out. Burks lined a ball to right-center, slicing away from center fielder Erison Mendez, who dove and couldn’t reach the ball, allowing the ball to get by him. Both runners scored on the play to make the score 9-7 Myrtle Beach. Andrew Ely followed and put down a bunt. Bird stumbled and couldn’t make an accurate flip to the plate, allowing Burks to score and make it 10-7.

Ryan McNeil entered in the ninth and worked a perfect inning to earn his league-leading 16th save of the season.

Andrew Thurman started the game for Carolina and worked a scoreless first before walking Donnie Dewees to begin the second inning in a scoreless game. Dewees then stole second before Castillo singled to right with two outs. Dewees slid in ahead of the tag to give Myrtle Beach a 1-0 advantage.

With Carolina down a run in the top of the third, Joseph Daris singled before Mendez advanced him to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a Keith Curcio walk and a wild pitch, Omar Obregon laid down a squeeze bunt to score Daris and tie the game at one.

In a 1-1 game in the bottom of the fourth, Balaguert deposited a Thurman pitch over the left field wall. Dewees then did the same in right field to make it 3-1. That was the third time the Birds hit back-to-back homers this season..

Pelicans starter Jake Stinnett couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning, but only surrendered one unearned run. James Pugliese got Stinnett out of a second and third, one out jam in the fifth by striking out two batters in a row.

Up 3-1 in the home half of the fifth, Burks singled to left before David Bote hit into a fielder’s choice. The next batter was Balaguert, who pulled his second homer of the game into the left field bleachers. Despite having 35 career home runs, Balaguert had never hit two in the same game.

Leading 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Jeffrey Baez walked before stealing second base. Spingola then lined a ball to center field which Mendez dropped, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. After a wild pitch allowed Baez to score, Bryant Flete doubled down the right field line to make the score 7-1 Pelicans.

Down by six in the top of the seventh, the Mudcats got three straight singles to make the sore 7-2. After Tommy Nance replaced Pugliese, Braxton Davidson rolled a single down the first base line, allowing a run to score to make it 7-3. With runners at first and third and no one out, Nance got Sal Giardinia to roll into a double play to empty the bases, as Isaias Tejeda scored on the play to make it 7-4.

With the tally still 7-4 in the eighth, Reed Harper and Daris both singled to start the inning. An error allowed Harper to score to make the tally 7-5. Curcio then doubled to the gap in left-center to plate both runs and tie the game at 7-7.

The Pelicans will travel to Salem Thursday to begin a four-game series with the Red Sox beginning at 7:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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