Pelicans blow big lead late, suffer walk-off loss to Keys

pel-2014hitThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans allowed the final six runs of the night to suffer a 7-6 walk-off defeat to the Frederick Keys on Friday night at Harry Grove Stadium.

Sam Wolff fired six innings of one run ball before a runner left on in the seventh scored. The bullpen allowed five runs in 1 2/3 innings, and Cody Ege suffered his first blown save and first loss.

The Keys (30-35) did not score between the first and seventh innings. They opened the ballgame with back-to-back two-out knocks off of Wolff from Creede Simpson and Michael Burgess to score a run.

The 1-0 lead for Frederick held until the third. The Pelicans (44-22) knotted up the score on an RBI single from Preston Beck, bringing Chris Garia home from third base. Jorge Alfaro worked a full count and sent the seventh pitch of his plate appearance over the right field wall. The two-run homer, his seventh long ball of they year, put the Birds ahead 3-1.

Myrtle Beach tacked on another two runs in the fourth on a wild pitch and an RBI double from Hanser Alberto. The shortstop’s hit extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He knocked in another on a sacrifice fly in the sixth to put the Pelicans ahead 6-1.

Sam Wolff did not allow a run after the first inning marker. He allowed two hits and recorded two outs to open the seventh before leaving the ballgame to the bullpen.

Sam Stafford allowed the inherited runner to score and did not record an out in his appearance. He walked three and gave up two singles. The final walk, which came to Lucas Herbst, came with the bases loaded to cut the lead to 6-4.

Cody Ege came on with the bases loaded and struck out Creede Simpson to escape the inning with the lead in tact.

The inning closed the book on Wolff who allowed two runs, both earned, on five hits and no walks. He fanned five and left in line for the win.

Ege fired a scoreless eighth inning around a Zane Chavez single. He returned for the ninth with a 6-4 lead to work with. Jason Esposito drew a seven-pitch walk to open the frame. Joel Hutter followed with a ground ball single up the middle.

Glynn Davis then put down a bunt, and Ege fired wide to first base, as the ball got by Torres into foul ground. Both Esposito and Hutter scored on the throwing error, and Davis went all the way to third on the play, representing the winning run with no outs.

The Keys pinch-hit for Herbst with Sammie Star, but he struck out. The Birds elected to intentionally walk both Simpson and Burgess to bring Chavez up with the bases loaded. The catcher hit a soft flare down the right field line that landed fair, ending the ballgame in walk-off fashion.

Ege (3-1) took the loss. Lex Rutledge (3-1) picked up the win, retiring all eight batters faced.

The Pelicans play game three of the series on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Harry Grove Stadium.

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