By Sam Weiderhaft
Myrtle Beach goes into Sunday with a chance to tie the series
Ethan Hearn hit just the third grand slam for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans and second this week in the top of the sixth inning to push the Birds over the Charleston RiverDogs 6-2 on Saturday night. The win gives Myrtle Beach a 56-57 record and gives the Pelicans a chance to tie the series with their second win in five games. Charleston drops to 80-33 with the loss.
Hearn (1-4, HR, 4 RBI) led the team with the grand slam despite striking out three times. It was his sixth home run of the season as the Pelicans hit their second grand slam of the week, with the first coming from Kevin Made on Tuesday. Fabian Pertuz (1-4, HR, RBI) also hit a home run in the fifth inning, his fourth of the season. Myrtle Beach was outhit 7-5 in the fifth game of the week.
Luis Rodriguez (2-0) tied a season-long outing by a Pelicans reliever with 4 1/3 innings of work allowing just one earned run and striking out six. Daniel Palencia started the game and struck out seven through 4 2/3 innings.
After scoring 15 runs in the second game of last night’s doubleheader, the RiverDogs were held to just two runs as Alexander Ovalles (0-3, RBI) and Jalfry Marte (1-2, RBI) drove in the only runs. Matt Dyer (2-4, 2B) was the only RiverDog with a multi-hit performance.
Four pitchers made appearances for Charleston as Antonio Jimenez (1-1) took the loss after allowing the grand slam and five total earned runs through 3 1/3 innings in relief. He struck out seven batters while walking three in his outing.
The RiverDogs jumped out to a quick lead in their half of the first as Diego Infante singled, Beau Brundage walked, and Dyer singled to load the bases with one out. Ovalles popped a sacrifice fly to right field to put Charleston on the board.
Pertuz tied the game up in the top of the fifth with a solo home run to right-center field off Jimenez.
After Jimenez struck the first two Pelicans out in the top of the sixth, the Birds loaded the bases on a single by Felix Stevens, a single by Casey Opitz, and a walk to Peter Matt. Hearn followed and took a 1-2 pitch over the wall in right field for a grand slam that gave Myrtle Beach a 5-1 lead.
Charleston got one run back in the bottom of the seventh after Johan Lopez led off with a walk and advanced to third on a single by Michael Berglund. Lopez would score on a sacrifice fly to center field by Marte to make it 5-2 Pelicans.
Sunday’s series finale between the Pelicans and the RiverDogs is slated for 5:05 p.m. as these two teams face each other for the final time this season.