Young sets on-base record; Pelicans win sixth straight

pel-3With a first-inning single to left field, Chesny Young made Carolina League history by reaching in his 38th consecutive game to set a new league record.

As part of a two-hit night, Young scored once and drove in a run to aid the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in a 4-0 win over the Salem Red Sox on Sunday night at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

The Carolina League has officially been tracking on-base streaks since the beginning of the 2009 season, and with his first-inning hit, Young broke the 37-game record set by Carlos Sanchez with the Winston-Salem Dash in 2012. The minor league record for a batter reaching safely in consecutive games was set by South Bend Silver Hawks shortstop Andrew Velazquez in 2014. Velazquez’s streak would end at 74 games that season, just 10 games shy of the Major League record of 84 games set by Hall of Famer Ted Williams in 1949.

The game was scoreless until Kevin Brown spurred the Birds’ offense in the fifth inning with a triple to right field, and he scored when Pin-Chieh Chen bounced an RBI single up the middle and through a drawn-in infield for a 1-0 Pelicans lead. Myrtle Beach (54-39, 13-11 second half) would add on again in the seventh inning when Young drove an RBI single to left field, his second hit of the game. Two batters later, Jacob Rogers added a two-run single to move the Birds in front, 4-0.

Salem (49-45, 11-13 second half) was 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and was shut out for just the third time this season. The game remained scoreless through the first four frames thanks in part to Pelicans starter Paul Blackburn, who allowed runners into scoring position with less than two outs in the first, second, and fourth innings, but stranded them each time. Blackburn also received sharp defensive assistance from center fielder Trey Martin, who threw a runner out at the plate in the second inning to keep Salem off the board.

Blackburn was lifted after 4 2/3 innings of work and five strikeouts but took no decision. Left-hander Michael Heesch (7-0, 1.37) worked 3 1/3 innings of relief en route to his seventh win out of the bullpen. After allowing a lead-off single, Josh Conway fired a shutout ninth inning and struck out two Red Sox batters, including the final hitter to end the ballgame and seal the 4-0 Pelicans win.

Red Sox starter Aaron Wilkerson (7-2) was the loser after five innings on the hill in which he surrendered one earned run on four hits.

The sixth consecutive win sets a new season-high for the Pelicans, who have also won eight of their last nine contests.

Right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng (3-6, 3.67) will take the hill in game two on Monday night at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. The Red Sox will counter with righty Teddy Stankiewicz (3-9, 3.82) with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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