Pelicans split doubleheader with Hillcats

Myrtle Beach takes opener 5-3 before dropping finale 8-0

P.J. Higgins drove in three runs in game one of Sunday's doubleheader in Lynchburg. (Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

By Scott Kornberg / Myrtle Beach Pelicans | June 24, 2018 5:35 PM

LYNCHBURG, Va. (June 24, 2018) - The Myrtle Beach Pelicans split a doubleheader Sunday with the Lynchburg Hillcats, winning game one 5-3 before losing the finale 8-0 from Calvin Falwell Field at Lynchburg City Stadium.

In game one, D.J. Wilson began the contest with a double before moving to third on an Aramis Ademan single. Lynchburg (32-39, 3-1) starter Justin Garza (3-5) then walked Jhonny Pereda to load the bases with nobody out. After a strikeout, P.J. Higgins lifted a sacrifice fly to strike first for the Pelicans (35-39, 1-3).

With the score still 1-0 in the third, Pereda singled and Wladimir Galindo walked with one out. Higgins then laced a double to score both runners and make it 3-0.

Myrtle Beach gathered some valuable insurance in the sixth. Andruw Monasterio singled with one out before Austin Upshaw reached on an error to put men on first and second. Connor Myers looped an RBI double to right and Wilson cashed in a run with an RBI ground out to extend the advantage to 5-0.

In the bottom of the sixth, Lynchburg finally got to Birds starter Erich Uelmen (1-0). Ernie Clement singled with two outs and Conner Capel followed with a walk. Li-Jen Chu then hit a three-run home run to bring the Hillcats to within 5-3.

Uelmen went 5.1 innings in his High-A debut, yielding three runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Erick Leal registered the final five outs for the second save of his career, including his first this season.

In the finale, Clement singled off Birds starter Casey Bloomquist (2-1). Later in the frame, Chu singled home a run to make it 1-0.

The score remained that way until the fourth. Jorma Rodriguez began the inning with a base hit before stealing second base. Two batters later, Logan Ice walked and two batters followig that, Clement drew a free pass to load the bases. Jodd Carter then earned a bases-loaded walk to put the tally at 2-0.

In the fifth inning, Chu singled and was sacrificed to second. Rodriguez notched a single to put men on the corners before Anthony Miller's base hit plated Chu. After a strikeout, Alexis Pantoja dropped in an RBI single before Clement brought in two more with a base hit. Carter followed by smashing a two-run home run to get the score to 8-0.

Ben Krauth (2-1) earned the win with three scoreless innings and five strikeouts in relief of Anderson Polanco, who pitched four shutout frames. 

The Pelicans return to TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark with Monday's 7:05 p.m. contest that starts a five-game series with the Buies Creek Astros. RHP Tyson Miller (6-3, 3.64 ERA) starts for the Birds against Astros RHP Brady Rodgers (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on MiLB.tv, MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, TuneIn and the MiLB First Pitch app.

Myrtle Beach's nine-game homestand starts with a Half-Off Hunger Monday presented by Lowes Foods, when fans can receive half-price tickets for donating an item from the Backpack Buddies Donation List.

The 2018 season is the 20th season for the Pelicans franchise and fourth as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. For tickets visit MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/tickets, call (843) 918-6000, or visit the Pelicans Box Office.

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. Since being acquired by a group led by Chuck Greenberg during the 2006 season, the Pelicans have repeatedly set team attendance records and become known as one of Minor League Baseball's most innovative and creative franchises. The team and its employees have been dedicated to making a difference in the Myrtle Beach community, specifically giving back over $2 million in donations, fundraising proceeds, in-kind services and community service since launching the Pelicans Play It Forward Community Initiative in 2013. TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark has ranked in the top eight in all of Minor League Baseball by Stadium Journey in six of the last seven seasons. The same publication also placed the Pelicans in the Top 100 Stadium Experiences and the best in the Carolina League for six of the past seven seasons. In June 2017, the Pelicans won the 2017 TripAdvisor.com Certificate of Excellence award. On the field, the team has won four Mills Cup Championships, including claims to back-to-back titles in 1999 and 2000, and again in 2015 and 2016. The Pelicans have made 11 postseason appearances behind 13 half-season Southern Division championships, including the first half of the 2015 season, second half of 2016 and first half of 2017. For more information on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, please contact the Pelicans at (843) 918-6000 or email Info@MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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