LYNCHBURG, Va. (September 14, 2016) - The Myrtle Beach Pelicans have won the 2016 Carolina League Championship after defeating the Lynchburg Hillcats 5-3 Wednesday at Calvin Falwell Field at Lynchburg City Stadium, taking the Mills Cup Championship Series 3-1.
The title is the Pelicans' second title in as many years, marking the first time since the 1985-86 Winston-Salem Spirits that a team has repeated as the outright Carolina League Champions. Ironically, the Spirits were affiliated with the Cubs when winning their back-to-back championships.
The 2016 championship is the fourth in franchise history. Myrtle Beach claimed the outright title in 2000 and 2015, while earning a split of the 1999 championship with the Wilmington Blue Rocks due to Hurricane Floyd.
Pelicans' manager Buddy Bailey is responsible for navigating Myrtle Beach to the 2016 title, claiming the second league championship of his 28-year managerial career. He also won the 2011 Florida State League Championship as the skipper for the Daytona Cubs. The 2016 finals were the seventh championship series Bailey managed, falling short in his first five tries.
The Pelicans join the 2016 Eugene Emeralds as the second Cubs affiliate to win their league this season. The Emeralds claimed the Northwest League title Tuesday with a 2-1 win over Everett.
Ten players from the 2016 Pelicans team earned their third consecutive ring, including Jeffrey Baez, James Pugliese, Daury Torrez and Duane Underwood, all of whom played major roles in the 2016 postseason. The 10 players earned a 2014 Midwest League Championship with the Kane County Cougars and the 2015 Carolina League Championship with the Pelicans.
15 players from the 2015 Myrtle Beach team also contributed to their 2016 title.
The 2016 season is the 18th season for the Pelicans franchise and second as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. For information on tickets to see the Pelicans in 2016, please call (843) 918-6000, e-mail [email protected], or visit www.MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.
ABOUT THE PELICANS: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and play their home games at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The park has ranked in the top eight in all of Minor League Baseball by Stadium Journey in each of the last five seasons. The same publication also placed the Pelicans in the Top 100 Stadium Experiences in all of sports in each of the last five years and the best in the Carolina League for five straight seasons as well. In May 2015, TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark won the 2015 TripAdvisor.com Certificate of Excellence award. The Pelicans are the two-time defending Mills Cup Champions, winning the title in 2015 and 2016 as well as 2000 and co-Mills Cup championship honors in the inaugural 1999 season. The Pelicans have made ten postseason appearances behind 12 half-season Southern Division championships, including the first half of the 2015 season and second half of 2016. For more information on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, please contact the Pelicans at (843) 918-6000 or emailing [email protected].