Faulkner hurls another gem as Pelicans shut out P-Nats

pel-faulknerThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans shut out the Potomac Nationals the series finale at Pfitzner Stadium 2-0 on Sunday night.

Andrew Faulkner led the charge with five scoreless innings, and Justin Sprenger and Jose Leclerc finished off of the team’s sixth shutout win of the year.   Faulkner has not allowed a run in 11 innings and allowed only one run over his last 19 frames.

Neither team scored over the first four innings. The Pelicans (11-7, 55-31) got a runner in scoring position in the first and loaded the bases in the second and fourth but failed to score.

In the fifth, Nick Williams led off with a six-pitch walk. Jorge Alfaro then doubled to center field on a ball that was nearly caught by center fielder Mike McQuillan but hit his glove and allowed Williams to third base with no outs.

With the infield back, Preston Beck grounded a ball to second base, bringing Williams home on the fielder’s choice to put his team ahead 1-0.

Faulkner dominated once again on Sunday night. The southpaw, who entered second in the league in ERA, scattered four runners over five shutout frames on two doubles, a single, and a walk. He completed the night by retiring the final five hitters and struck out four on the night. He lowered his ERA to 2.22.

Sprenger allowed just two baserunners in ten faced, a leadoff single in the seventh and a two-out double to Tony Renda in the eighth that ended his night. With Renda in scoring position, the Birds went to Jose Leclerc who struck out Shawn Pleffner to end the inning and the threat.

Myrtle Beach added an insurance run in the ninth off of Sam Runion. After Chris Garia’s season-high fourth hit of the contest and a steal of second base, Nick Williams plated the second Pelicans run with a single.

The Nationals (8-8, 46-39) did not get a baserunner off of Leclerc in the ninth. The Pelicans closer faced seven batters in the series, retired all seven, including five on strikes, and picked up two saves.

Faulkner (7-1) earned up the win, while Potomac starter Matthew Spann (5-4) suffered the defeat, allowing a run on seven hits and four walks in six innings.

The Pelicans travel to Winston-Salem for the first of four games at BB&T Ballpark on Monday night at 7 p.m.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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