Wayward Cat Can't Help Birds in Opener

Paukovits shuts down Pelicans in 2-0 loss to Wilmington

Randall Delgado was brilliant on Monday, striking out nine in the loss. (Robbie Gurganus)

By Anthony Masterson / Myrtle Beach Pelicans | July 19, 2010 5:54 PM ET

MYRTLE BEACH, SC- In what is becoming a troubling trend over the last few weeks, the Pelicans offense has been prone to disappearing for nine innings at a time. Monday night's opener with Wilmington was no different as the Birds were shut out for the second time in three games, this one coming in a 2-0 game at the hands of the Blue Rocks.

Pelicans ace Randall Delgado was once again stiffed of run support in his time on the hill. Coming into his 20th start of the season, Delgado had been given just a shade over two runs of support per start this year which is why Delgado's ERA is in the top five in the league, but his record now stands at 4-7. The Panamanian right-hander enjoyed one of his best starts in over a month, allowing just one run on four hits in his seven innings of work while striking out nine and walking just one. The nine strikeouts were the most in a game for Delgado since May 25 when the righty, fittingly, struck out 12 in a 1-0 loss to Lynchburg.

The lone blemish on Delgado's night was an elevated pitch to Wilmington outfielder Rene Oriental, which was slugged to the left-center field gap, scoring Nick Francis all the way from first base to make it a 1-0 Blue Rock lead. That would be all they would need on this night.

On the other side of the coin, Wilmington starter Bryan Paukovits was stellar against the Pelicans, tossing seven innings of shutout baseball while surrendering just three hits and striking out a pair. Paukovits (2-2), whom the Pelicans defeated last Monday, picked up his second win in a Blue Rock uniform by controlling his pitch count and taking advantage of an aggressive Pelican lineup.

The Rocks tacked on another in the top of the eighth inning when Wil Myers roped a single through the hole on the left side against Paul Clemens scoring Patrick Norris. That run was unearned.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, a wayward feline found its way onto the field of play, stopping play for about five minutes before the cat was corralled. Shades of the black cat crossing in front of Cubs third baseman Ron Santo, dooming Chicago into decades of oblivion, crossed the minds of the 3,464 at BB&T Coastal Field, but the Pelicans couldn't take advantage of the cat's mystique as Jordan Kreke lined into a 3-6 double play to end the game and give the Blue Rocks a shutout.

These two teams will be back tomorrow for game two of this three-game series, with first pitch set for 7:05 ET.

Come on out to the ballpark for game two of the series with the Blue Rocks for yet another Team Tuesday at BB&T Coastal Field where the first 1,000 fans to pass through the gates will receive a collectable poster of a Pelicans player courtesy of emediagroup coastal.

For more information on tickets, daily promotions, and all things Pelicans, log onto myrtlebeachpelicans.com or call 1-877-918-TIXX or 843-918-6000.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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