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Pelicans Split Doubleheader with Fireflies

(Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
July 17, 2021

By Sam Weiderhaft

By Sam Weiderhaft

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans split the doubleheader with the Columbia Fireflies with a 7-0 loss in game one and a 2-0 win in game two. The victory in the second game secured the series victory for Myrtle Beach with their fourth win of the seven-game set. Saturday was also Military Appreciation Night as the Pelicans honored active-duty military members and veterans throughout the doubleheader.

Game One: The Pelicans’ lineup was silenced with just four hits through the seven-inning game. Fabian Pertuz (2-2, 2B) was the only Pelican with multiple hits in the game.

DJ Herz (1-4) would take his fourth loss of the year as the lefty tossed four innings with two earned runs off four hits. Alberto Sojo came in for three innings in relief and was rattled with five earned runs off six hits.

The Fireflies were powered by Juan Carlos Negret (3-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI) as he tallied his fourth multi-home run game of the season. Tyler Tolbert (2-3, 2 2B) also hit two doubles in the game one victory.

The win went to starter Cruz Noriega (4-2) after keeping Myrtle Beach scoreless through his five innings with seven strikeouts to just one walk.

The game started slowly with the first runs coming in the fourth inning. Negret came up with one out and lifted his first home run on top of the left-center field scoreboard to put Columbia up 1-0. Omar Hernandez then lined a ball down the left-field line with two outs for a double and came home on a single up the middle by Felix Familia.

Sojo came in for Herz to start out the top of the fifth and got two quick outs. Tolbert then hit a double to left field and scored one batter later on a Darryl Collins single. Negret followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Both runners scored when Saul Garza blasted a double to center field to make it a 5-0 Fireflies lead.

In the seventh inning, Tolbert hit his second double of the game and Negret crushed his second homer to left field to extend the lead to 7-0.

Game Two: It was a low-scoring affair as the Birds’ lineup collected six hits and turned it into two runs to take a slim victory. Fabian Pertuz (1-2, RBI) brought in his third RBI of the series with a late single, while Pablo Aliendo (1-3, RBI) accounted for the other run.

The pitching staff posted their sixth shutout as Jarod Wright (1-1) picked up the first win of his career with three innings in relief with two strikeouts and five hits. Jeremiah Estrada started the game and lasted four innings with two strikeouts and three hits.

Gage Hughes (3-3) accounted for almost half of the eight hits for Columbia in the second half of Saturday’s doubleheader. Burle Dixon (3-2, 2B) brought the only extra-base hit in the game for the Fireflies with a double in the third.

With the game knotted 0-0, Wright came out of the bullpen and sacrificed three straight singles to load the bases for Columbia. Matt Schmidt struck out on three pitches for the first out, and Tolbert hit a chopper up the middle that was scooped up by Made where he turned a 6-4-3 double play to keep Columbia scoreless.

The Pelicans would turn that into their first run in the bottom half of the inning. Jordan Nwogu hit a one-out double to left field to get into scoring position. After the next batter was retired, Pertuz lined one in between first and second for an RBI single as the Birds took a 1-0 lead.

Myrtle Beach would tack on one more run in the sixth as Kevin Made hit a single with one out. Yohendrick Pinango followed by grounding to first and reaching base on a fielder’s choice as Made was thrown out at second. Fireflies’ reliever Chase Wallace threw two straight wild pitches to move Pinango all the way to third. Aliendo came up and hit a slow roller down the third-base line that stayed fair and allowed Pinango to score to put Myrtle Beach up 2-0.

Myrtle Beach and Columbia will meet for the final time on Sunday night at 6:05 p.m.