Eickhoff strikes out 11 but Pelicans fall in extra innings

Jerad Eickhoff unleashed a career-best 11 strikeouts in a losing effort Monday as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (30-26) lost to the Potomac Nationals 2-1 in 10 innings.

Despite the loss, the Pelicans improved their lead to 1.5 games in the Southern Division as the Winston-Salem Dash were swept in a double-header against Salem.

Potomac’s Adrian Nieto hit a solo home run off Randol Rojas in the tenth inning to lift the Nats to victory. Rojas (3-1) was saddled with his first loss of the season while Cameron Selik (1-1) earned his first win.

The Pelicans took the lead in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly from Luis Sardinas. Jason Martinson tied the game with a two-out, two-strike solo home run in the seventh inning.

Eickhoff worked eight solid innings of one-run, three-hit baseball. The righty received a no decision but fanned a career-best 11 batters. Potomac’s starter, Taylor Hill, was exceptional as well, working 8.2 innings of one-run, three-hit baseball to go along with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Neither team scored in the first five innings. Sardinas led off the bottom of the first inning with a bunt single, the Pelicans only hit until the eighth inning.

Eickhoff’s 11-strikeout performance matches Alec Asher for the most by a Pelicans pitcher in a game this season – his previous career-best was eight. It is his second eight-inning performance of the season, matching a personal best.

The Pelicans have lost their last four home games – the last two of which have come in extra innings.

The Pelicans continue a four-game series Tuesday with the Potomac Nationals at TicketReturn.com Field. First pitch is on tap for 7:05 p.m.

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