MYRTLE BEACH, SC - An Edwin Garcia double proved to be the decisive blow, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans scored the final three runs of the game to top the Frederick Keys 5-4 on Thursday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Park. The win denied the orange and black a series sweep, but the club was still able to earn a series win over the Pelicans. Frederick also claimed the season-series, by virtue of winning the middle game on Wednesday.
Myrtle Beach jumped out to a 1-0 lead against Parker Bridwell in the first. After the righty gloved a comebacker by Jorge Alfaro to open the game, the next four batters got on base, while a single by Royce Bolinger brought in Chris Garia. That would be all Myrtle Beach would score though, as after a flyout by Edwin Garcia, Chih-Hsien Chiang gunned down Nick Williams who was trying to score from third.
The Pelicans added a run in the fourth to make it 2-0. Following a one-out single by Christopher Bostick, Kevin Torres was robbed of extra-bases thanks to a great catch in centerfield by Johnny Ruettiger, but Luis Mendez was able to split the gap with a double, scoring Bostick from first. Mendez was thrown out trying to stretch his double into three bases.
Pelicans starter Luis Parra escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth thanks to a double-play, but the Keys would plate a pair off the lefties in the fifth. Joel Hutter opened the inning with a walk, and advanced to third on a double by Tucker Nathans. A groundout by Ruettiger then scored Hutter, while a base knock by Trey Mancini made it 2-2.
In the sixth, the Keys grabbed their first lead. Following a walk to Wynston Sawyer, Nathans singled with two outs. With the inning still alive for Ruettiger, the Keys leadoff man tripled to right to clear the bases.
Bridwell would come out for the sixth, but would not complete the inning. With runners at first and third and two outs, Mendez grounded a ball sharply to Nathans at second. Knocking it down, Nathans threw to first, but the runner was ruled safe by base umpire Ben Levin allowing Garcia to score. That ended Bridwell's night, but Jimmy Yacabonis got Alfaro to ground out to short after an extended at-bat.
In the seventh, the Pelicans grabbed the lead for good. Yacabonis (0-3) retired Garia and Williams quickly, but walked Bolinger and Preston Beck to keep the inning alive. Making the most of the walks, Garcia doubled off the top of the wall in left to give the home team a 5-4 edge.
Abel De Los Santos would take care of the Keys over the final two innings to pick up his eighth save. He allowed only one hit and struck out two. Yacabonis was tagged with his third loss and third blown save, giving up two runs on two hits over 2.1 innings. Cody Ege (4-1) vultured the win for the Pelicans, allowing two runs on three hits over two innings. He walked one and struck out three.
The Keys open a three-game series with the Lynchburg Hillcats on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. Branden Kline (6-4, 3.79) gets the start for the orange and black and will be opposed by Hillcats lefty Blair Walters (1-0, 3.00). First pitch is slated for 7:00 p.m. and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source. For ticket information, fans can call 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.