With one out and the game tied at two, the Pelicans rallied for a trio of crucial runs in the eighth inning against Wilmington reliever Andrew Stueve. With one out, Christian Villanueva slapped a single to left. Tomas Telis followed with the tie-breaking RBI as he shot a double up the alley in right field for a 3-2 Myrtle Beach lead. Jeremy Williams worked a walk with two outs. Josh Richmond banged a triple into the left field corner just out of the diving and reaching try of Roman Hernandez to add a pair of runs for a 5-2 advantage.
After the Rocks got a run in the bottom half, the Pelicans answered back with three tallies in the top of the ninth.
Trailing 1-0 in the fourth, Cheslor Cuthbert and Matt Fields jacked back-to-back homers to right field against Kyle Hendricks to take the lead at 2-1. It was Fields' sixth homer in seven games.
The lead didn't last for long as the Pelicans knotted the game at two in the fifth. With two outs against Elisaul Pimentel, four straight Myrtle Beach hitters reached base. An error by Angel Franco allowed Odubel Herrera to get aboard. A hit-and-run with Hansir Alberto sent him to third. Brett Nicholas drove him in with a rope single to left field. After a walk to Villanueva to load the bags, Telis looped a ball to left center that was snagged out of the air by a diving Hernandez, saving several runs and ending the inning.
The Pelicans started the scoring in the fourth inning. Three straight men singled in Nicholas, Villanueva and Telis to bring home the game's first score.
The Rocks continue this three-game series against the Pelicans on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. Wilmington's RHP Jason Adam (1-9, 4.25) squares off against Myrtle Beach's RHP Randy Henry (5-3, 1.59). Broadcast coverage begins at 1:05 p.m. as studio host Rob Cunningham brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
After Matt Fields went deep in the fourth inning for a 2-1 Wilmington lead, the Blue Rocks did not record a hit for the rest of the game. Myrtle Beach pitching retired 18 of the next 23 men they faced, allowing five walks.
Scoring the first run has been vital for both clubs this year. When Myrtle Beach strikes first, they are 35-13. When the Blue Rocks allow the first run, Wilmington is 11-36.
In the first half, the Blue Rocks scored just 227 runs for a league-low 3.2 runs/game average. Despite playing two seven-inning games and posting a sum of one run between the bookend games of last week, Wilmington has scored 101 runs over its first 17 games of the second stanza for an average of 5.9 runs/game. The team that hit 31 home runs over the 70-game first half, the second-lowest total in the league, has bashed 23 early in the second. The Blue Crew hit a league-worst .231 in the first half, but owns a .274 (164-for-598) contact clip so far this half.
After closing a run of 13 straight games against only divisional foes at 7-6, the Rocks record against Southern Division squads dipped to 17-35 after Saturday's loss. They are 19-16 against their brothers in the North.
After a season-best four homers on Friday, the Rocks' slammed two dingers at home, after having five at Frawley for the first 39 games at home. 47 (87%) of the team's 54 jacks have come away from Frawley. Fourteen of them were hit on the team's most recent road trip.
The man recently plucked from the indy ball ranks, Matt Fields, homered for the sixth time in seven games. He went 9-for-27 (.333) during the team's road trip. All but one of his hits went for extra-bases.
When Cheslor Cuthbert and Matt Fields ripped back-to-back homers in the fourth inning, it was the fifth time it happened in 2012 for Wilmington. The last time the Blue Rocks hit back-to-back jimmy jacks was on July 1 at Frederick when Brett Eibner and Jose Bonilla hit consecutive taters.
Announced on Friday night, Blue Rocks past and present will be the starters for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday in Kansas City. Current Blue Rocks pitcher Yordano Ventura will start for the World roster and Blue Rocks alum Jake Odorizzi will get the nod for the U.S. roster. Also, former Blue Rock Wil Myers will start in right field and hit third for the U.S. squad. The game will begin at 4 p.m. CDT and will be televised on ESPN2 as well as MLB.tv. The game can be heard on MLB Network Radio (XM Channel 89).