Sabourin, Mudcats demolish Pelicans, 17-2
Jerrud Sabourin hit for the cycle, going 4-for-5 with three RBI.
MYRTLE BEACH, SC - The Carolina Mudcats flexed their muscle in a 17-2 shellacking of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Saturday night. The Southern Division leaders were clicking on all cylinders during the emphatic win over the second place Pelicans.
Ryan Merritt (10-3, 2.13) produced another strong outing to earn his tenth win of the season. Through 6.2 innings, Merritt gave up only two earned runs off of four hits while striking out nine Myrtle Beach batters.
Offensively, Carolina received great contributions from the bottom half of the order.
The game remained close through the first two innings and appeared to be a battle between evenly matched teams.
The Mudcats and the Pelicans traded punches in the second inning when Carolina used a Monsalve double to score Jeremy Lucas and Myrtle Beach countered with a solo shot from Preston Beck to level the score.
But Carolina then built a quick twelve run lead behind six runs in the third and six more in the fifth.
Center fielder Todd Hankins earned a walk and a single from Erik Gonzalez put runners on the corners early in the third. Joe Sever scored Hankins on a ground out to short and a Yandy Diaz triple during the next at-bat scored Gonzalez to make it 3-1.
Luis Parra gave up another walk later in the inning that set up Monsalve with another RBI opportunity. Monsalve continued his hot night with a three run blast over the left field wall at TicketReturn.com Field. Things only got worse for Parra as Sabourin followed it up with a solo shot of his own.
Carolina continued to rely on the long ball in the top of the fifth. Jeremy Lucas got in on the action with his team leading eighth home run of the year and three consecutive Mudcat singles scored another run.
Myrtle Beach skipper Joe Mikulik had seen enough of Parra and brought reliever Kevin Pucetas in to finish the inning.
Pucetas failed to stop the bleeding and went on to give up four runs after struggling with his command. A Todd Hankins walk loaded the bases and another walk forced in the third run of the inning. Sever finished things off with a bases clearing single to right that extend the Carolina advantage to 13-1.
By this point, the game was well in hand and a late home run from Myrtle Beach's Jorge Alfaro proved meaningless. Three additional Carolina runs over the final three innings only reaffirmed the end result.
Luis Parra (7-6, 5.35) took the loss after surrendering eleven earned runs in 4.1 innings of play. The Mudcats hit the Myrtle Beach starter ten times and took three walks in the process.
The win moves Carolina to 18-12 during the second half and 47-50 on the season. Myrtle Beach falls to 16-14 during the second half and 60-38 on the year.
The Carolina Mudcats continue their series with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Sunday night. Michael Peoples has been tabbed to start for the Mudcats. First pitch is set for 6:05 PM.
Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.