Pelicans hammer Hillcats, cut magic number to 1

pel-11homerThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans won their first rain-shorted game of the year by a 7-1 score on Wednesday night at Calvin Falwell Field in Lynchburg, Virginia against the Lynchburg Hillcats.

The Pelicans scored in the first and never looked back. All three Pelicans Carolina League Midseason All-Stars who started Wednesday’s game picked up at least one RBI; Joey Gallo notched an RBI single, and Preston Beck and Jorge Alfaro both homered.

Jason Knapp made just his second start of the season. The right-handed tossed a season-high four innings and fired scoreless baseball. He allowed a single in the first and a leadoff triple in the fourth but kept Lynchburg (30-29) off of home plate. He fanned four and did not walk a batter.

Just like Tuesday night, the Pelicans (39-18) scored in the first inning. Chris Garia opened the ballgame with a bunt single. After getting sacrificed over to second and moved to third on a fielder’s choice, Gallo grounded a ball through the right side of the infield to knock home Garia and give Myrtle Beach a 1-0 lead.

Beck led off the second by launching a home run to right field. The home run was his fifth, a career-high in his third professional year, and it put the Birds ahead 2-0.

After Greg Ross fired a perfect third inning, the Pelicans added four runs more off of the right-hander in the fourth. A leadoff walk of David Lyon came around to score on a single from Garia. Two batters later, Alfaro launched a towering home run to left, a three-run blast, his sixth home run.

Another run came across on a wild pitch in the fifth, scoring Christopher Bostick. The seven runs surrendered by Ross was a season-high.

Justin Sprenger allowed an unearned run in the fifth inning in his Pelicans debut. The right-hander allowed a leadoff single, and with one out, Bostick let a ball skip off of his glove into right field; the run scored on the play. A double-play got Sprenger out of the inning.

After the Pelicans went down in order in the top of the sixth, Sprenger came back out for the bottom of the frame. The rain picked up, and Sprenger never threw a pitch in the inning. After a 40-minute delay, the game was called.

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