Burks delivers walk-off hit, Pelicans win eighth straight

pel-burksredCharcer Burks reached base five times and delivered the walk-off single in the 11th inning Saturday to lead the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Mudcats at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

With Myrtle Beach (62-51, 26-17) and Carolina (44-69, 15-28) tied at three in the bottom of the eleventh, Bryant Flete beat out a grounder to second for an infield single against Mudcats reliever Ryan Lawlor (1-3). Ian Rice followed by lining a single to center to push Flete to second. After Jeffrey Baez bunted them to second and third, Lawlor intentionally walked Daniel Spingola to load the bases with one out. Jesse Hodges then pinch-hit and grounded into a 5-2 force out. With two outs and the bases loaded, Burks lined one over shortstop to win the game.

The Pelicans’ eight-game winning streak is their longest since 2015.

With the game scoreless in the top of the second, Pelicans starter Jeremy Null walked two of the first three batters before Sal Giardina drove home Braxton Davidson to make it 1-0 Carolina. The next batter was Tanner Murphy, who flew out to left to score Keith Curcio and make the score 2-0 Mudcats.

With the score the same in the fourth, Davidson and Isaias Tejeda both singled before a fielder’s choice moved Davidson to third. Murphy then delivered his second sacrifice fly in as many plate appearances, giving Carolina a 3-0 advantage.

Null responded with two subsequent scoreless innings, allowing three runs on four hits over six solid frames.

Down 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Yasiel Balaguert homered off Mudcats starter Andrew Thurman to get Myrtle Beach on the board. Thurman had retired 11 in a row before Balaguert’s deep fly.

With Carolina leading 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Myrtle Beach got a leadoff single from Erick Castillo before Burks drew a walk. Two batters later, David Bote lined a single to center that scored Castillo to pull the Pelicans to within 3-2.

With Mudcats reliever Zach Quintana pitching in the seventh, Baez singled with one out. Spingola followed and lined a double to the gap in left-center to score Baez and tie the game at three.

The Birds bullpen worked five shutout innings on the night. Daury Torrez put up zeroes in the seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively, while Ryan McNeil (1-1) held the Mudcats scoreless in the two extra innings.

Burks reached in five of his six plate appearances Saturday and has now been on base in eight of his last 13 tries. For the season, he is hitting .333/.464/.621 in 20 games against Carolina.

The Pelicans will go for the sweep and ninth straight win Sunday at 6:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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