Mudcats earn first series win at Myrtle Beach
Carolina was outhit 7 to 6, but still found a way to win on Sunday.
MYRTLE BEACH, SC — The Carolina Mudcats (19-12, 48-50) grabbed an early lead and held on late Sunday to defeat the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (16-15, 60-39) by a score of 4-3.
The Mudcats followed up their seventeen-run Saturday by jumping ahead with a pair of runs in the top of the first Sunday on their way to the franchise’s first ever series win in Myrtle Beach.
Todd Hankins opened the game with the first of his three hits, a single up the middle, before Erik Gonzalez reached on a throwing error by Luis Mendez at second to put Pelicans starterRyan Bores in an early jam. After Joe Sever lined out, Yandy Diaz opened the scoring with a base hit to right plating Hankins and moving Gonzalez up to third. Jerrud Sabourin then walked to load the bases, which was followed up by Alex Monsalve’s groundout to third, enough to score Gonzalez as Carolina took an early 2-0 lead.
Carolina hit Bores and the Pelicans for another pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Luigi Rodriguez led off by earning a walk and was followed by a single to left from Hankins. Gonzalez moved the pair up with a sacrifice bunt towards third, which allowed Rodriguez to score as Sever followed with a single to left. Diaz then brought in Hankins with a sacrifice fly to right as the Mudcats went up 4-0.
Bores (0-2, 3.57) was tagged with the loss for Myrtle Beach allowing four runs, two earned, on five hits in 5.0 innings. The right-hander walked three while not recording a strikeout.
The Pelicans clawed one back in the bottom of the fifth, finally getting to Carolina starter Michael Peoples. With one away, a Mendez walk and Chris Garia single put men on the corners for Edwin Garcia. Garia stole second to eliminate the double play, a crucial move as Garcia grounded to second. James Roberts had to concede the run, letting Mendez score in exchange for the second out as Myrtle Beach got on the board at 4-1.
Myrtle Beach then shrunk the gap even more in the bottom of the sixth as the Pelicans snuck within a run. Royce Bolinger’s one-out single to left ended Peoples’s day as Carolina turned to Jacob Lee. Lewis Brinson welcomed Lee to the fray with a double to left putting two in scoring position with still only one out. Nick Vickerson then singled on a ball deflected by Sever at first to Roberts, whose throwing error allowed a second run to score on the play as Bolinger and Brinson crossed the dish to make it 4-3.
With both bullpens shutting down the opposing offenses in the late innings, Peoples (7-7, 4.57) evened up his record by allowing two earned runs on five hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out three and walked three.
Josh Martin pitched scoreless bottoms of the seventh and eighth for the Mudcats en route to the victory as no Pelican reached base off the right-hander.
Grant Sides closed the door in the bottom of the ninth, retiring Myrtle Beach in order for his third save of the campaign.
The Mudcats now hold a three-game lead over the second-place Pelicans in the Carolina League’s Southern Division going into Monday’s series finale. First pitch from TicketReturn.com Field is set for 7:05 PM as Carolina goes for the sweep.