Pelicans open second half with eye on playoff streak

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans begin the second half of the season by starting a four-game series with Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. first pitch at the Lynchburg Hillcats.

The Pelicans need to win the second half of the Carolina League’s Southern Division to keep their streak of five straight playoff appearances intact. They have reached the finals the last three years, winning two Mills Cup championships.

Here’s a look at the Pelicans headed into the second season:

CALL TO ARMS
Over the last 25 games, Myrtle Beach has seen their starting pitching catch fire, with the club’s rotation ceding just 39 runs, 35 earned, on 127 hits in 139.2 innings for a 2.26 ERA. Pelicans starters have whiffed 118 while walking only 29 during this stretch. Not coincidentally, Myrtle Beach has allowed more than four runs just once in these 25 games. Birds starters are averaging 5.2 innings per start over this stretch, compared to 4.2 prior to this run.

THOU SHALL NOT PASS
Pelicans pitchers have walked just 196 batters this season, by far the fewest in the Carolina League. In fact, Down East, which has issued the second-fewest free passes (211), is closer to the fourth-place tie of Winston-Salem and Frederick than they are to Myrtle Beach. The Birds have dished out no more than three walks in 11 consecutive games, their best run of the season to this point.

BROKEN BATS
While Myrtle Beach’s pitching has been excellent of late, the Pelicans closed the first half with losses in seven of their final eight games. The club has really struggled offensively during this run, scoring a grand total of 17 runs over this eight-game stretch (2.1 per game). In fact, outside of plating seven runs on June 11, the Birds have gone seven contests in a row without tallying more than two runs. As a team over the last eight games, Myrtle Beach is posting a batting line of .192/.270/.261 (234 AB, 45 H, 8 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 23 BB, 2 HBP).

MONASTERIO MASH
Myrtle Beach infielder Andruw Monasterio has reached base multiple times in nine contests during his 12-game on-base streak. Over these last 12 contests, the Caracas, Venezuela native is 18-for-48 (.375) with one double, one home run, six RBIs and four walks. After slashing just .241/.313/.287 (75 wRC+) in a brief stint at the High-A level last year, Monasterio is hitting .274/.359/.343 (105 wRC+) this season. Part of his success is a better approach at the plate; after walking in 5.2 percent of his plate appearances in 2016 and 8.3 percent last season, Monasterio is posting a career-best 11.1 percent walk rate in 2018, the third-best mark on the team.

P.J.’S PANCAKE HOUSE
Myrtle Beach catcher P.J. Higgins has been the Pelicans’ second-most productive hitter to this point of the season according to his 117 wRC+, a park and league-adjusted stat that attempts to quantify a player’s total offensive value and measure it by runs. Higgins has reached base in 27 of his last 31 games, hitting 33-for-107 (.308/.408/.402) with seven doubles, one home run, 13 RBIs and 18 walks. On the season, the Wallingford, Conn., native has shown a discerning eye, increasing his walk rate from 10.6 percent last year to 13.5 percent in 2018. The former Old Dominion Monarch has also hit for more power (.061 ISO in 2017, .102 in 2018) by lacing more line drives this season, upping his line drive rate from 19.1 percent last year to 23.3 percent (15th-best in the Carolina League) in 2018.

EYE OF THE TIGER
Over his last four starts Myrtle Beach starter Alex Lange has surrendered just five runs on 22 hits in 26.2 innings for a 1.69 ERA (25 K, 3 BB). Lange’s hot streak has helped push his FIP, an ERA estimator based on factors most within a pitcher’s control like strikeouts, walks and home runs, to 2.83, the third-best mark in the Carolina League. Lange has walked only 4.4 percent of batters this season, which ranks second in the circuit. Interestingly, when opponents put the ball in play, 19.7 percent of batted balls have been line drives, the 15th-highest mark in the league. However, Lange’s ground ball rate is 42.6 percent, the 18th-highest mark in the circuit.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

Big month for running hits homestretch at Beach Run

Big month for running hits homestretch at Beach RunThere was a time when Myrtle Beach was invaded by [more]

Chants rally past Howard, face West Virginia Monday

Chants rally past Howard, face West Virginia MondayJunior guard Tyrell Gumbs-Frater scored a game-high 22 points and [more]

Conway ace Smith follows trio's footsteps to big-time

Conway ace Smith follows trio's footsteps to big-time The door bell rang at the Smith house, and a [more]

Lady Panthers find their stride this soccer season

Lady Panthers find their stride this soccer seasonCarolina Forest entered last season with a roster full of [more]

Coast FA teams strike it rich at St. Patrick's Cup

Coast FA teams strike it rich at St. Patrick's CupThe luck of the Irish shined on four Coast FA [more]

Chants get new life, play host to Howard in CBI

Chants get new life, play host to Howard in CBICoastal Carolina has been selected to host an opening round [more]

Coastal caps road swing with sweep of Warhawks

Coastal caps road swing with sweep of Warhawks No. 16 Coastal Carolina scored a season-high 15 runs to [more]

With two aces on mound, Panthers get winning hand

With two aces on mound, Panthers get winning handIn the span of one game, Carolina Forest went from [more]

Coastal hits for home run cycle in Sun Belt opener

Coastal hits for home run cycle in Sun Belt openerThe No. 16 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers had four different players [more]

MB's Cahill honored as Athletics Director of Year

MB's Cahill honored as Athletics Director of YearJohn Cahill's role as a father keeps him busy chasing [more]

Warhawks destroy Chants in Sun Belt quarterfinals

Warhawks destroy Chants in Sun Belt quarterfinalsCoastal Carolina met a hot-shooting Louisiana Monroe team in an [more]

Coastal falls to Clemson, opens Sun Belt schedule

Coastal falls to Clemson, opens Sun Belt scheduleNo. 16 Coastal Carolina couldn’t overcome a six-run first inning [more]

'Too Tall' Jones, Love III among big names at MAM

'Too Tall' Jones, Love III among big names at MAMDallas Cowboys legend Ed "Too Tall" Jones and PGA Tour [more]

Lady Chants' season ends with blowout by App State

Lady Chants' season ends with blowout by App State The Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team suffered a 78-42 loss [more]

CAC swimmers post top times at Spring Sectional

CAC swimmers post top times at Spring SectionalThe Coastal Aquatic Club (CAC) sent its fastest senior swimmers [more]

Coast FA 03 Red survives delays to claim State Cup

Coast FA 03 Red survives delays to claim State CupGood things come to those that wait. That old adage [more]

Coastal Highland Games make Myrtle Beach debut

Coastal Highland Games make Myrtle Beach debutThe Coastal Highland Games came to downtown Myrtle Beach for [more]

Chants settle for tie with reigning national champs

Chants settle for tie with reigning national champsNo. 16 Coastal Carolina scored all four of its runs [more]

Cuthbertson tallies 1,000th; Troy rips CCU men, women

Cuthbertson tallies 1,000th; Troy rips CCU men, womenZac Cuthbertson scored a game-high 19 points and in the [more]

Kitchen pitches Chants to victory over Washington

Kitchen pitches Chants to victory over WashingtonCoastal Carolina redshirt junior pitcher Austin Kitchen had a career [more]

Coastal runs out of time, timely hits against Toreros

Coastal runs out of time, timely hits against TorerosNo. 16 Coastal Carolina was haunted by a six-run eighth [more]

Cuthbertson carries Chants to win over South Alabama

Cuthbertson carries Chants to win over South AlabamaZac Cuthbertson led four Chanticleers in double figures with 28 [more]

Coastal hammers Wake, heads west for showcase

Coastal hammers Wake, heads west for showcaseNo. 16 Coastal Carolina used a six-run first and scored [more]

Locals take new Topgolf attraction for a test drive

Locals take new Topgolf attraction for a test driveDevin McCall came in to hit some balls on his [more]

Chants walk it off again in extra innings vs. Deacons

Chants walk it off again in extra innings vs. Deacons No. 16 Coastal Carolina got a one-out, bases-loaded RBI [more]

Big month for running hits homestretch at Beach Run

Big month for running hits homestretch at Beach RunThere was a time when Myrtle Beach was invaded by [more]

Chants rally past Howard, face West Virginia Monday

Chants rally past Howard, face West Virginia MondayJunior guard Tyrell Gumbs-Frater scored a game-high 22 points and [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach