FREDERICK, MD.-The Myrtle Beach Pelicans (49-37/6-10) used a pair of back-to-back home runs to defeat the Frederick Keys (36-38/6-9) 9-5 on Saturday night at Nymeo Field. The Pelicans used their second set of home runs as part of a five-run ninth inning.
Jesse Hodges got the scoring started in the second inning with a home run to left field off of Keys starter Keegan Akin . The big fly ended a stretch of 18.1 scoreless innings for Akin. The lead would be extended by the next batter Matt Rose, as he launched a home run of his own to left field, making it 2-0.
The Keys struck back in the fourth inning to pull the game to within a run. Ademar Rifaela singled to lead off the frame, and Shane Hoelscher added a single two batters later. Alex Murphy then walked, loading the bases for Glynn Davis . Davis singled to bring in Rifaela, making it 2-1 and keeping the bases loaded. That is when Armando Araiza lifted a fly ball to shallow center field. The catch was made, and Hoelscher hesitated after being caught midway down the third base line. The rundown ended with Hoelscher being tagged at the plate, and the inning came to a close.
The score remained 2-1 until the seventh, when the Pelicans added two runs against Karl Triana . Tyler Alamo hit a single, and advanced to third on a double by Jesse Hodges. Rose then hit a ball off the end of the bat to first base. Alamo headed home, and the throw from Murphy got past Araiza, allowing Alamo to score and Hodges to come around from second, moving the lead to 4-1.
Frederick made it a one run game after eight. After Ricardo Andujar grounded out, Jay Gonzalez singled and stole second. Mountcastle walked, and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. With two in scoring position, Rifaela singled to right field, bringing in both men and making it a 4-3 game.
Myrtle Beach then pushed across five runs in the ninth. Rose led off with a double, and scored on a Connor Myers double. Following an intentional walk to Bryant Flete, Mario Alcantara balked and allowed Myers and Flete to move to second and third. P.J. Higgins hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Myers. The Pelicans then hit back-to-back home runs for the second time in the game. Trent Giambrone launched a two-run homer to left and was followed by Eddy Martinez' second home run in as many days, pushing the lead to 9-3.
The Keys made it interesting in the ninth, plating a pair of runs. After Murphy and Davis were retired, Armando Araiza crushed a solo home run to left field. Andujar was then hit by a pitch, and Gonzalez legged out an infield single. The ball got away from Rose, allowing Andujar to score the Keys fifth run. Mountcastle would then walk, but a ground out of Rifaela secured the Pelicans 9-5 win.
Thomas Hatch (4-7) picked up the win, tossing five innings and allowing one run. Akin (6-6) took the loss, surrendering just two hits on the two home runs while striking out nine.
The Keys and Pelicans continue their series on Sunday night. Right-hander Cristian Alvarado (3-8, 5.37) takes the mound for the Keys and will opposed by Ryan Kellogg (3-6, 5.37) for Myrtle Beach. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., and can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App. For tickets, fans can call 301-815-9939 or visit frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.