Pelicans rally past Mudcats to tighten grip on playoff bid

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans wrapped up their four-game series against the Carolina Mudcats with a 5-2 victory Sunday night at Pelicans Ballpark.

Both starters, Nick McBride for the Pelicans and Will Roberts for the ‘Cats, threw very well as the game was scoreless through four and a half innings. Vinny Difazio opened up the scoring in the bottom of the fifth with his fifth homerun of the season, a solo shot to left. McBride and Roberts both went six innings and gave up one earned run.

The lead didn’t last long as Tomas Telis committed two crucial throwing errors giving the Mudcats a 2-1 lead after six. The first error was on a perfect bunt by the speedy Marcus Bradley. Telis fielded the ball as it was rolling away from him on the first base line chalk and attempted to make an impossible throw that went into leftfield. Bradley advanced to second on the errant throw and would later score on a Tony Wolters single.

Later in the inning, Telis made a pickoff attempt with Justin Toole, who also singled, on first, and threw it in to right field to let Wolters and Toole advance to third and second. Tyler Cannon would then drive in Wolters on an RBI single to right, one of his three hits on the day.

Mudcats reliever Fabio Martinez was in a giving mood, the birds scored two runs in the seventh without making contact, walking four consecutive Pelicans and throwing three wild pitches in the meantime allowing the Birds to score twice to regain the lead and not look back.  Myrtle Beach would tack on two more in the seventh off Grant Sides, giving them a 5-2 lead.

Zach Osborne and Ben Rowen combined for three innings of one-hit shutout relief.  Ben Rowen retired the Mudcats in order in the ninth to record his 17th save of the season.

With the win Myrtle Beach goes to 33-23 and 2.5 games back of first place Winston-Salem, who was rained out on Sunday. The Pelicans are now six games ahead of Carolina for the last playoff spot in the Carolina League South with 14 games left.

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