Pelicans Avoid Mudcats’ Grasp for Series Win
Zebulon, N.C. — The Myrtle Beach Pelicans escaped a ninth inning rally by the Carolina Mudcats and scored twice in the 10th for series-clinching 3-1 win on Friday night at Five County Stadium.
The Mudcats (28-23, 50-72) lost their grip on the wildcard spot with Salem’s win over Winston-Salem. The Pelicans (32-21, 72-50) remain solidly in first place in the Southern division.
Josh McElwee (2-1) takes the win despite a blown save. He allowed an inherited run to score in the ninth, but tossed 1.2 shutout innings. Rob Nixon (3-5) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on four hits in the 10th.
Jake Skole drew a walk against Nixon to start the surge. A grounder through the left side by Preston Beck on a hitand-run allowed Skole to third. Chris Grayson hit a deep sacrifice fly to center as Skole tagged and scored for a 2-1 lead. Drew Robinson, Odubel Herrera and Trever Adams followed with three straight two-out singles to tally the final margin.
Carolina’s starter Joe Colon and Pelicans’ right-hander Alec Asher shut down both offenses through six innings. The Pelicans finally broke through against Colon in the seventh. Herrera opened the inning with a single and later scored on a double to left by Joe Maloney.
Myrtle Beach continued to hold down Carolina’s offense until the ninth. Paddy Matera hammered a leadoff double to over Grayson’s head in left. Bryson Myles pinch ran for Matera and moved to second after Tony Wolters drew a walk off reliever Cody Kendall.
Alex Lavisky laid down a perfect bunt to sacrifice the runners into scoring position. With the infield in, the Pelicans went to the bullpen for McElwee. Erik Gonzalez bounced a single past the shortstop Alberto to score Myles for the tie.
With Wolters at third, Jerrud Sabourin attempted a safety squeeze. The ball dribbled directly back to McElwee who flipped it to catcher Kellin Deglan for the out as Wolters lowered his shoulder in an attempt to jar the ball loose at the plate. Gonzalez would later steal third, but Todd Hankins popped out to first to end the threat.
The Mudcats open a huge four-game series in Salem on Saturday, August 16th. First pitch against the Red Sox is set for 6:05 p.m. Carolina returns home to host the Lynchburg Hillcats on Wednesday, August 21st. Tickets are available by calling (919) 269-2287 or visiting carolinamudcats.com.