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Huma’s Two-Run Single Gives Pelicans Walk-Off Win over Hillcats

(Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
August 2, 2022

It’s the fifth walk-off for Myrtle Beach this season and second for Josue Huma

It’s the fifth walk-off for Myrtle Beach this season and second for Josue Huma

By Sam Weiderhaft

Down 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans stole the series opener over the Lynchburg Hillcats 5-4 with Josue Huma’s two-run single. It was the Pelicans’ 29th comeback victory of the season and improved their record to 65-32 with an 18-13 second-half record. Lynchburg fell to 46-51 and 11-20 in the second half with the loss.

The top of the order for the Pelicans provided the most production with Huma (2-5, RBI) posting the only multi-hit game from the leadoff spot. In his first game with the Pelicans, Moises Ballesteros (1-4, HR, RBI) hit a solo home run in his first at-bat in the bottom of the second. Myrtle Beach went 3-6 with runners in scoring position to steal the win.

With 1 1/3 shutout innings through the final frames, Angel Hernandez (3-1) took the win as he struck out two and didn’t allow a hit. Starter Koen Moreno lasted three innings with two earned runs off three hits and three walks while striking out three.

Junior Sanquintin (2-4, HR, 2 RBI) led the Hillcats with a two-run home run in the top of the fourth. Victor Planchart (1-3, RBI, BB) brought home the other RBI with a single in the top of the eighth. Lynchburg tallied six hits and went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

After getting the first two outs of the ninth, Elvis Jerez (1-2) took the loss with the two earned runs that ended the game. Jerez walked two and gave up the lone hit to Huma to blow his first save of the year. Hillcats’ starter Reid Johnston pitched six solid innings with just one earned run and three hits allowed while striking out seven.

The Pelicans struck first in the bottom of the second as Ballesteros came up with nobody on and two outs. The second pitch he saw in his first Single-A at-bat was driven to center field and hit off the batter’s eye for a solo home run.

Their 1-0 lead would last until the top of the fourth when the Hillcats scored two. After Moreno walked the first batter of the inning, Sanquintin crushed a two-run home run to right field for his third of the season to give Lynchburg a 2-1 lead.

Both teams were quiet through the middle innings when the Hillcats added two more run in the top of the eighth. With Anthony Mendez on the mound, Richard Paz walked and Sanquintin singled to right to put Paz on third. Sanquintin advanced to second at the end of the play. Mendez threw a wild pitch with Planchart up to score Paz. Planchart followed with a line-drive single to right that brought in Sanquintin for a 4-1 Lynchburg lead.

The Pelicans responded back in the bottom half. With runners on first and second, Juan Mora hit a single that skipped into left field as Felix Stevens came in to score. Ezequiel Pagan came up with one out and runners on the corners and grounded out to third with Huma coming in for an RBI groundout as the Pelicans inched within one. With Mora on second, Kevin Alcantara flew a ball to right field that dropped next to Cesar Idrogo. Mora went to third but Alcantara was tagged out looking for a double to end the inning.

Jerez came out of the bullpen to face the Pelicans in the bottom of the ninth. After the first two batters were retired. Ballesteros struck out on an 0-2 pitch with the ball rolling away from Paz behind the plate. Ballesteros reached on the wild pitch to extend the inning. Parker Chavers came in to pinch run and watched Felix Stevens and Ethan Hearn draw walks on 3-2 pitches to load the bases. Huma came up and battled an 11-pitch at-bat to line his 3-2 pitch over Juan Benjamin’s head at second base that scored two to give the Pelicans a 5-4 win.

Wednesday night’s game is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. start time between the Pelicans and Hillcats.