Pelicans pound Keys with another four-homer outing

pel-carhartThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, used four home runs to take away a 9-7 win against the Frederick Keys at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Third baseman Ben Carhart went deep twice in the contest, hitting two of the Pelicans’ four home runs, their second four-homer game in as many days.

The Keys (60-66, 28-28 second half) were the first to score on Sunday, tacking on a pair of runs in the bottom of the first by way of four consecutive one-out singles. First baseman Wynston Sawyer grounded a base hit to left field and right fielder Tad Gold bounced an RBI hit up the middle to move the Keys in front, 2-0.

Pelicans starter Brad Markey, who entered the game with a 5-0 record, had not allowed more than one earned run in any single appearance with the Pelicans this year. Entering Sunday’s contest, the right-hander had the second-lowest ERA among all pitchers in Minor League Baseball since his first start with Myrtle Beach on July 7 (0.85).

However the Pelicans (75-50, 34-22 second half) jumped back into the lead with a pair of home runs in the top of the fourth. Carhart tagged a solo shot over the left-field wall to lead off the inning, his second in as many games, and fifth of the year. Cael Brockmeyer followed with a double down the left-field line, and after a ground out, Victor Caratini launched a go-ahead two-run blast to left for a 3-2 Pelicans lead.

The Birds weren’t done scoring there, as Carhart singled to open the sixth and Brockmeyer went deep to left field to stretch the Pelicans’ lead to 5-2 against starting pitcher Mitch Horacek.

In response, Frederick first baseman Wynston Sawyer led off the bottom of the sixth with a double, and after Markey retired the next two batters, designated hitter Conor Bierfeldt lashed an RBI double into the left-field corner, shaving the Pelicans’ lead to 5-3.

That hit ended Markey’s afternoon. The right-hander finished with 5 2/3 innings in the book and was charged with three runs, all earned, on eight hits. Markey (6-0) fanned six and did not walk a batter in his sixth win of the season.

Left-hander Michael Heesch took over on the mound and ended the sixth with a foul out to first base. He struck out a pair and walked a man in 1 1/3 scoreless innings of work.

In the eighth, Bierfeldt drew the Keys to within a run at 5-4 with another two-out hit, this time a single up the middle against reliever Josh Conway.

The Birds then exploded for four more runs in the top of the ninth. With two outs, a walk and a throwing error at third base brought Pin-Chieh Chen to the plate, and he slapped an RBI single to right field. With the Birds leading 6-4, Carhart clubbed his second homer of the game, a three-run shot, over the left-field fence for a 9-4 Pelicans lead.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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