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Rosa, Blue Rocks stop Pelicans

Giuliani throws out first pitch at Myrtle Beach opener
April 5, 2007
The only way Opening Day in Myrtle Beach could have been bigger was if it was in the Major Leagues.

A Coastal Federal Field-record crowd of 6,047 saw the Pelicans drop a 2-0 decision to the visiting Wilmington Blue Rocks on Thursday, kicking off another season in the Carolina League.

The record crowd also saw Carlos Rosa, the Kansas City Royals' 2006 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, toss five scoreless innings and presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Anything else? How about a flyover by the Blue Angels or the ball used in the ceremonial first pitch delivered by an armored car?

Once the former New York City mayor completed his task, Rosa (1-0) went about his and had little trouble going through the Pelicans lineup. He pitched five innings and gave up three hits and one walk while striking out four.

Rosa's lone rough spot came in the bottom of the fourth when he walked Kala Kaaihue with two outs, then gave up back-to-back singles to Diory Hernandez and Willie Cabrera. The 22-year-old right-hander quickly recovered by striking out Brett Bigler on three pitches.

Bigler was the first of 16 consecutive batters retired by the Blue Rocks. Gilbert de la Vara worked two perfect innings for the save.

Wilmington wasted little time getting on the board as Mario Lisson doubled with two outs in the top of the first and scored on Miguel Vega's single. The Blue Rocks padded their lead in the eighth on Josh Johnson's two-out RBI single.

Pelicans starter James Parr (0-1) suffered the loss, despite yielding just one run on five hits over five innings. He struck out four.

Clint Sammons had one of Myrtle Beach's three hits, a leadoff double in the third.

Michael Echan is a contributor to