Gallo’s HR hat trick sparks Pelicans’ 21-run explosion

pel-gallohomerThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans won their franchise-best eighth road game in a row in a 21-6 drubbing of the Frederick Keys on Wednesday night at Harry Grove Stadium.

Joey Gallo knocked out three home runs, and he and Zach Cone both drove in a season-high six runs in the first 20-run output by the club since 2008.

In all began with the largest inning of the season for the Birds. The team plated eight runs off of Brady Wager, who had not given up more than three runs in a start this season. He retired two of the first three batters in the inning, but the Pelicans (13-6) brought 11 men to the plate in the frame. Seven consecutive batters reached on four singles, a walk, and a double, and Gallo capped it off with his first homer of the game, a two-run line drive shot to right field. That long ball made it 8-0 Myrtle Beach.

The club added another two runs in the third. Both went against the line of Wager, who allowed ten runs, all earned, in two-plus innings. An RBI double from Preston Beck and a fielder’s choice by Cone, who knocked in six in total, gave the Pelicans their largest run total of the year with a 10-0 score after the top of the third.

Frederick (8-11) got on the board against Pelicans starter Sam Wolff in the third inning. Jason Esposito knocked out his first homer of the season to lead off the inning. It was the first home run allowed by Wolff is his pro career, spanning 50.1 innings before the long ball. After an infield hit by Glynn Davis and two of Wolff’s career-high seven strikeouts, Michael Burgess knocked out another homer off of Wolff, trimming the lead to 10-3.

Gallo homered for a second time in a two-run fourth. With two runs in the fifth inning, Frederick pulled within 12-5, the closest they would come to tying the game. In a four-walk inning, the Pelicans posted four more runs in the seventh. Nick Williams crushed his second home run of the year off of the batter’s eye in center field in the eighth. Myrtle Beach scored four more times in the ninth, two touched home on Gallo’s third home run of the game, a monstrous home run that cleared the batter’s eye in straight away center field.

It was Gallo’s second multi-homer game of the campaign and third career three-homer game. He knocked out three on June 11 and on August 30 of last season with Class-A Hickory.

The Pelicans 21-6 win was the largest run total and largest margin of victory for the club since June 20, 2008 when the team beat Lynchburg on the road 22-3.

Wolff (3-1) earned the win in his roughest outing of the season. The right-hander got through five innings, allowing five runs, all earned, on seven hits a pair of walks. He did strikeout a career-best seven batters. Wager (2-2) suffered the defeat, allowing a career-high ten runs.

The Pelicans play the Keys again on Thursday at 7 p.m. from Harry Grove Stadium.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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