On a night where dinosaurs came back to life at the ballpark, the Pelicans' bats were extinct in a 10-2 loss to Augusta on Friday night. The loss moves both teams to a 4-5 record, with Myrtle Beach still maintaining a 2-1 lead in the series.
Friday night's game was dubbed "Dinosaur Night at the Ballpark presented by Ed's Dinosaurs Live" and featured a live dinosaur egg hatching at the stadium.
After impressive pitching performances in the first two games, the Pelicans gave up a season-high 10 runs on nine hits. Starting pitcher Richard Gallardo (0-1) picked up the loss after throwing the first three innings while allowing one earned run on two hits. The right-handed pitcher also struck out three and walked two.
Much like last night, the Birds didn't strike the scoreboard until late in the game. The lineup was held to five hits for the third-straight game and struck out 14 times as a team. Ed Howard (2-3, R) collected the first multi-hit game of his professional career in the loss.
The win went to Augusta reliever Ben Thompson (1-0), who threw three innings without giving up a run while striking out three and giving up two hits. Spencer Strider started the game and struck out seven of the nine batters he faced in his first professional start.
In a game where every hitter in the Augusta starting lineup reached base, Cam Shepherd (2-4, 2 2B, 4 RBI) had the biggest performance for the GreenJackets with two doubles and four total RBIs. Brandon Parker (3-4, RBI) racked up three singles in the performance.
While Strider was holding Myrtle Beach hitless through the first three innings, Augusta tallied the first run in their half of the third with a Shepherd double down the right-field line off of Gallardo.
In the top of the fourth, Gallardo was replaced with Diddier Vargas who struggled from the start for the Birds. Augusta loaded the bases with just one out and Shepherd came up big again with a drive in the right-center field gap that brought home all three runners. Parker came up two batters later and punched his first of three singles to left-center field to bring home Shepherd and put the GreenJackets on top 6-0.
After the stretch, the Pelicans loaded up the bases in their half of the seventh with three straight walks off Augusta reliever Gabriel Rodriguez. Zach Seipel replaced Rodriguez and forced Luis Verdugo to ground into a double play, which scored a run. Jacob Wetzel collected his first professional hit and RBI with a single that capped off the inning to bring Myrtle Beach within four runs.
The Pelicans loaded up the bases again in the eighth inning with two outs, only to have last night's player of the game Yohendrick Pinango fly out to left field to strand all three runners.
Augusta would break things open in the top of the ninth, which started with Shepherd reaching base again on an error committed by first baseman Matt Mervis. Pelicans' reliever Tyler Suellentrop walked three straight GreenJackets to plate another run, with the lead now 7-2. After picking up the second out of the inning, Suellentrop walked Ricardo Rodriguez to bring in another run. Backup catcher Raymond Pena entered the game on the mound to try and get out of the inning and gave up a two-run single to Cade Bunnell to open things up at 10-2.
The Birds put two runners on base in their half of the final frame, but Edmond Americaan struck out to end the game.
The Pelicans will play their first doubleheader of the season tomorrow night against Augusta for games four and five of the series. Game one is scheduled to start at 4:05, with the second game starting 30 minutes after the first.