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Wood Ducks Foiled By Miscues in Myrtle Beach

Whatley's first homer of the year supplies the highlight of the night
(Jimmy Kilpatrick)
June 1, 2018

MYRTLE BEACH, SC - A sixth inning rally by the Pelicans (25-29) sunk the Wood Ducks (30-24) in the 4-1 loss on Friday night. A balk, two errors, and a blooper resulted in three unearned runs that proved to be the difference on the evening.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC - A sixth inning rally by the Pelicans (25-29) sunk the Wood Ducks (30-24) in the 4-1 loss on Friday night. A balk, two errors, and a blooper resulted in three unearned runs that proved to be the difference on the evening.

On a brighter note, Matt Whatley connected on his first home run of the 2018 season - a solo shot to left to tie the game in the fifth inning. He also drew a walk on the night and did not allow a ball to pass him behind home.
Walker Weickel turned in six strong innings despite the loss. At one point, he threw 14 consecutive strikes while finding his groove in the middle innings. The right-hander lowered his ERA to under four by only allowing one earned to score.
The sixth began with two singles by the top of the order for the Pelicans. Before pitching to Jhonny Pereda, a balk was called by home plate umpire Mike Snover. While the Woodies were in disagreement, Spike Owen was tossed from the game. 
As the inning continued, back-to-back throwing errors with the infield in led to a pair of runs scoring. Then later with two outs, Austin Upshaw flared a single into no-man's land in right-center, pushing the score to 4-1.
While the offense only managed an 0-for-4 night with runners in scoring position, the bullpen shined. Michael Matuella tossed a 1-2-3 seventh on only 12 pitches with a strikeout. Friday was only his second appearance from the bullpen this season.
After him it was Jacob Lemon who tossed a perfect eighth inning with a strikeout as well. He one-upped Matuella, only needing seven pitches to retire the side.
The Woodies managed to get the go-ahead run to the plate with one out in the ninth but a strikeout and a lineout would end the game. Down East falls to one game back of the Astros in the first half race with only 16 games remaining.
Game two of the series comes on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. and right-hander Steven Bruce (1-0, 1.54) starting opposite righty Keegan Thompson (2-3, 3.61). Pregame coverage on WRNS-AM 960 Sports/Talk 960 The Bull begins at 5:45.