Pelicans capture first place with doubleheader sweep

pel-ruckerMyrtle Beach swept a de facto doubleheader against the Buies Creek Astros with an 8-5 final in Sunday’s suspended contest, and a 1-0 shutout behind a stellar start from Mike Rucker in Monday’s scheduled game to lift the Pelicans into sole possession of first place from Jim Perry Stadium.

Myrtle Beach (33-25) and Buies Creek (32-26) completed Sunday’s suspended game prior to the regularly scheduled game on Monday. Dillion Maples entered the contest in the bottom of the 10th inning with the Pelicans leading 8-5. Maples struck out a pair in the frame en route to his second save of the season. Pedro Araujo (3-0) received his third win of the season after he tossed 1.2 innings and allowed just one run. With Myrtle Beach’s 8-5 victory in game one, the Pelicans tied the Astros atop the Southern Division.

In Monday’s scheduled contest, Connor Myers led off the fifth inning with a double to left field before advancing to third on a wild pitch. With one out in the frame, P.J. Higgins lifted a sacrifice fly to center field that allowed Myers to score to give Myrtle Beach the 1-0 advantage.

Rucker (1-0) was outstanding in his first professional start. The right-hander tossed five scoreless innings and allowed just one hit while striking out six en route to his first win of the season. Kyle Miller relieved Rucker in the sixth inning and tossed four innings of one-hit baseball to complete Myrtle Beach’s league-leading sixth shutout. Miller earned his second save.

Buies Creek starter Brett Adcock (1-3) took a tough-luck loss, as he tossed six innings and allowed just one run on four hits.

With both victories, Myrtle Beach has now taken sole possession of first place inside of the Southern Division with a one-game lead on Buies Creek. The Pelicans have matched a season-high with five wins in a row, and the Birds have taken eight of the past 11 contests.

Myrtle Beach will look to complete the series sweep Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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