MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (July 12, 2017) - Despite a strong performance from the Dash's pitching staff, a two-run first inning proved to be the difference as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans defeated Winston-Salem 2-0 in Wednesday's series opener at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
Myrtle Beach (8-11, 51-38) jumped ahead for good against Dash starter Alec Hansen (0-2) in the opening frame. Zack Short led off the inning with a walk, and P.J. Higgins grounded a single to center to put runners on first and second.
Two batters later, Eddy Martinez grounded an RBI single through the right side, scoring Short and moving Higgins to third on the play. After a walk loaded the bases, Jesse Hodges smacked a run-scoring single to center to put the Pelicans up two.
The Dash righty buckled down after that, avoiding further damage by inducing a double play from Tyler Pearson to end the threat. Hansen, who was drafted 49th overall by the White Sox in last year's draft, did not allow a hit after the first, retiring 10 straight hitters at one point en route to a five-inning effort.
Overall, the former Oklahoma Sooner allowed three hits and two runs while walking three and striking out seven, giving him 111 over 90.2 innings between Winston-Salem and Low-A Kannapolis.
Drew Hasler relieved Hansen in the sixth inning and went on to record three scoreless innings out of the bullpen. The right-hander has not allowed a run in his last 7.2 frames at the High-A level.
However, Winston-Salem (9-11, 33-57) struggled against Myrtle Beach starter Mike Rucker (2-2), who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Zack Collins broke through with the Dash's lone hit against Rucker with a one-out double to right, but the right-hander escaped that jam en route to a career-high seven innings of work.
The Dash's best scoring opportunity came in the eighth, as they loaded the bases against Dakota Mekkes with two outs. Mekkes was able to work out of the jam, though, as Joel Booker grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning. Mekkes tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up his first save with Myrtle Beach, for whom he has hurled 17.2 shutout innings.
Winston-Salem continues its four-game series against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. inside TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. Right-hander Brannon Easterling (5-5, 4.72 ERA) gets the nod for the Dash against Pelicans righty Duncan Robinson (0-1, 4.50 ERA). Pregame coverage begins at 6:50 p.m., and fans can catch all of the action on 600 AM-WSJS, 101.3 FM, wsdash.com/broadcast, MiLB.tv and the TuneIn Radio App.
The Dash return to BB&T Ballpark on July 20 to begin a four-game series with the Salem Red Sox from Thursday through Sunday. Promotions for the four-game homestand include a Lowes Foods Thirsty Thursday and Family Sunday, two incredible postgame fireworks displays on Friday and Saturday, Star Wars Night and much more. For tickets and more information, call the Dash at (336) 714-2287 or visit wsdash.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.