Pelicans swept by Blue Rocks, return home for final series

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans lost 9-3 on Thursday night in Wilmington to finish off a 1-6 road trip. With the loss, the Pelicans are now eliminated from hosting a first round playoff game. Jeremy Williams continues to hit the ball well with two hits and two RBI.

Due to the loss, the Winston-Salem Dash have now won the second half for the Southern Division of the Carolina League. Because they also won the first half, they will host all three first round games against the Pelicans in Winston-Salem at BB&T Ballpark. The series starts on Wednesday, September 5th.  The Pelicans will finish 2012 with a 32-39 record on the road.

Wilmington started off the scoring in the third when Jose Bonilla scored on a double play ground out. The Blue Rocks took off in the fourth, scoring six runs and putting themselves out in front 7-0. Eleven batters would come to the plate for the Rocks in the inning. There were three walks, three singles, a double by Orlando Calixte, a wild pitch and an error by pitcher Nick McBride. The six runs in the inning were scored by Lane Adams, Matt Fields, Cheslor Cuthbert, Brett Eibner, Guelin Beltre and Angel Franco.  Eibner and Calixte each drove in two of the runs. Cuthbert scored on the error and Franco scored on the wild pitch by Pelican reliever Josh McElwee who came in and faced the final three batters. He struck out two and walked Adams, who walked twice in the inning.

McElwee and Francisco Mendoza pitched scoreless fifth and sixth innings. Jimmy Reyes came in to pitch the seventh and gave up one unearned run. After a leadoff double to Nick Van Stratten, Odubel Herrera committed his second fielding error of the game on a Lane Adams ground ball and 41st overall in 2012 allowing Van Stratten to score. The Birds finally got on the board in the top of the eighth when Hanser Alberto drove in Jeremy Williams, who walked earlier in the inning.

Even All-League Closer Ben Rowen couldn’t get out the Blue Rocks on Thursday night. He allowed five singles and only one run due an aggressive base running mistake by Beltre, who was thrown out at third. Jeremy Williams stayed hot and drove a double to left driving in Vinny DiFazio in the bottom of the ninth but that was not nearly enough as Tyler Sample shut the door without to end the game.

Pelicans starter was roughed up for seven runs, four earned in three and a third innings. He allowed six hits and struck out only one. Wilmington starter Leondy Perez pitched very well, allowing only one unearned run while going seven and a third innings.

The Pelicans fly south after the game and hope to get things turned around at home. They have lost seven of eight contests overall and lost nine of their last ten on the road. Myrtle Beach opens the final home stand of the season on Saturday in the first of a three game set against the Lynchburg Hillcats. RHP Michael Lee (3-2, 3.72) will face off against RHP Joe Van Meter (3-5, 1.95) and first pitch will be 7:05. For tickets or more information visit myrtlebeachpelicans.com or call 843-918-6000.

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