Pelicans win to stay atop CL second-half standings

pel-bostick2After winning the Carolina League Southern Division first-half championship, the Myrtle beach Pelicans are threatening to make it a season sweep.

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans remained in a first-place tie for the second-half title and never trailed in a 8-6 win over the Potomac Nationals on Tuesday night at Pfitnzer Stadium.

With the win, the Pelicans earn their first series win in four tries and take the season-series with the Nationals. The Birds look for the series sweep on Wednesday at 12:05 p.m.

The Pelicans (21-19, 65-43) jumped out to an early lead with three straight hits off of Matthew Spann in the first. After line drive single to left from Chris Garia, Jorge Alfaro smacked his fifth triple of the season to open the scoring. Preston Beck then drove him home with a liner to right field.

Over the next two innings, however, the Nationals (20-17, 58-48) tied things up. Tony Renda roped a leadoff double in the first and scored on a sacrifice fly after a sacrifice bunt got him to third base.

In the second, with one on and two out, Chris Garia dropped a fly ball to deep left field off the bat of Starlin Martinez. Khayyan Norfork scored all the way from first to tie things up.

Myrtle Beach wasted no time in retaking the lead, however. In the third Lewis Brinson muscled a single to left with the infield in, scoring Alfaro from third, to put his club ahead 3-2. Brinson collected three RBI on the night.

The Pelicans added a single run in the fourth, and the teams traded runs in the fifth.

Ahead 5-3 in the seventh, the Birds tacked on three unearned runs off of reliever Richie Mirowski. Alfaro led off reaching on a throwing error by Stephen Perez. The next two batters reached to load the bases with no outs. Brinson brought home a run with a fielder’s choice, and, with two outs, Christopher Bostick drove in two with his fifth triple of the year and the team’s third of the series.

With a five-run advantage, the Pelicans turned to Cody Ege in the eighth, pitching for a second consecutive day. The P-Nats knocked five straight hits off of the southpaw to score three runs and bring the go-ahead run to the plate. That’s when Myrtle Beach went back to the pen and brought on Abel De Los Santos, also pitching for a second straight day.

Pedro Severino moved the runners on a sacrifice bunt. With the tying-run in scoring position, De Los Santos induced a groundout back to him off the bat of Tony Renda for the second out and struck out Stephen Perez to end the inning.

With the score still 8-6 in favor of Myrtle Beach, Jose Leclerc surrendered a one-out walk in the ninth but got out of the inning unscathed to nail down his twelfth save.

Parra (8-6) earned the win to become the active team leader in victories, while Spann (7-5) shouldered the loss.

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