Pelicans win sixth straight with victory over Mudcats

pel-lewisAndrew Ely and Bryant Flete turned an extraordinary double play in the eighth inning Thursday to help the Myrtle Beach Pelicans hold on for a 6-4 win over the Carolina Mudcats in front of a sellout crowd of 6,599 at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, marking the Birds’ first six-game winning streak of the season.

With the Pelicans (60-51, 24-17) leading 5-4 in the top of the eighth inning, Carolina (44-67, 15-26) loaded the bases with only one out. Mudcats first baseman Isaias Tejeda ripped a hard grounder up the middle that appeared headed for the outfield. Myrtle Beach shortstop Andrew Ely made a diving stop, and then from his stomach, flipped to second baseman Bryant Flete, who caught the ball barehanded on second before firing to first to complete the double play and maintain the one-run lead.

The eighth inning started with the Birds leading 5-1. Preston Morrison (1-0) allowed a leadoff single to Tanner Murphy. After an error put runners at first and second, Tommy Nance replaced Morrison. Nance walked the first two batters he faced, forcing in a run to make the score 5-2 Myrtle Beach. After striking out Omar Obregon, Travis Demeritte doubled to the wall in center to cut the deficit to 5-4. Reliever Daniel Lewis then walked Braxton Davidson before inducing the heroic double play.

Lewis got the first two outs in the ninth before Pedro Araujo threw one pitch to retire the final Mudcats batter, earning his first save of the season.

Before Morrison ran into trouble in the eighth, he had turned in seven magnificent innings, striking out seven without walking anyone. The right-hander did not allow a hit until the sixth inning.

Myrtle Beach got the offense going immediately against Mudcats starter Ryan Clark (1-11). Charcer Burks singled to left before Donnie Dewees singled up the middle. David Bote followed and doubled to center to score Burks and give the Pelicans a 1-0 lead. Yasiel Balaguert then grounded out to short, plating Dewees to add another tally. After Flete singled to right, Jeffrey Baez hit a grounder to third on which Jordan Edgerton booted, giving the Birds a three-run advantage. The next batter was Daniel Spingola, who doubled to left center to make it 4-0 Myrtle Beach

Clark and Morrison traded zeroes until the top of the sixth. Murphy singled to start the inning. After he advanced to second on a groundout, Luis Valenzuela connected on a ground-rule double to right, cutting the deficit to 4-1.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Myrtle Beach got a walk from Flete before Baez doubled to the left field corner to extend the lead to 5-1.

Leading 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Myrtle Beach got back-to-back singles from Erick Castillo and Ely before Burks drove home Castillo with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-4.

Myrtle Beach will vie for their seventh straight win during Friday’s 7:05 p.m. contest against Carolina.

Photo courtesy of Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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