Pelicans, Nationals put on offensive fireworks show

pel-riceThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans plated six runs in the third inning Saturday in an 11-9 win over the Potomac Nationals in front of 4,363 at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

The Pelicans (41-39, 5-5) scored in each of the first five innings, knocking out Nationals (40-36, 6-2) starter Luis Reyes (4-8) in the third inning.

With the game tied at three in the bottom of the third, Gleyber Torres began the inning with a single before Reyes walked the next two. Yasiel Balaguert followed and singled to left to give the Birds their first lead of the day at 4-3. David Bote, who had three hits, then singled to right to give Myrtle Beach a 5-3 lead. Two batters later, Reyes walked Daniel Spingola to force home a run and make it 6-3.

With the bases still loaded, Charcer Burks singled to right to plate two and open up a five-run advantage for Myrtle Beach. Rashad Crawford came up next and reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing Spingola to score and make it 9-3.

The Pelicans tacked on another run in the fourth when Ian Rice homered into the bleachers to give the Birds a 10-3 advantage.

With the same score in the bottom of the fifth, Spingola singled off of Nationals reliever Matthew Spann to start the inning. After advancing to second on a passed ball, Torres singled to right to give Myrtle Beach an 11-3 lead.

Pelicans starter Jake Stinnett (7-3) had put together three consecutive shutout innings but ran into trouble in the sixth. After walking the leadoff man, Alec Keller singled to put runners at first and second. After Stinnett got two quick outs, Khayyan Norfork singled to make the score 11-4 and knock Stinnett out of the ball game. Michael Wagner came in to pitch and allowed a walk and two hits to allow Potomac to get four more runs and pull to within 11-8.

With the same score in the top of the seventh, Keller collected a one-out single before stealing second base. Two batters later, Dale Carey singled up the middle to cut the Pelicans’ advantage to 11-9.

In the top of the eighth, Myrtle Beach turned to reliever Jordan Minch, who allowed the potential tying run to reach second base before inducing a groundout to get out of the jam. Minch and Ryan McNeil combined on a 1-2-3 ninth, with McNeil earning his tenth save.

The scoring began early in the game, with both starters surrendering runs in the first two innings.

Potomac kicked off the scoring in the top of the first. Victor Robles singled before eventually stealing third and scoring on a sacrifice fly to give Potomac a 1-0 lead.

The Birds battled back immediately when Burks reached second base on a throwing error by Reyes before Crawford singled him home to tie the game at one.

Stinnett retired the first two batters in the top of the second before allowing a walk and a single. Robles then doubled to the wall in left center to plate the pair and give Potomac a 3-1 lead.

With the same score in the bottom of the second, Bote singled with one out before Jeffrey Baez walked. Two batters later, Bote scored on a throwing error before Baez came home on a subsequent fielding error, allowing Myrtle Beach to tie the game 3-3.

For the second straight night, all nine Pelicans reached at least once. Seven different Birds knocked in at least one run, with Burks and Crawford each collecting two RBIs.

The Pelicans will go for the series win Sunday at 6:05 p.m. against Potomac.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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