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Santana Goes Seven, Pelicans Win 4-2

(Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
August 4, 2022

Tyler Santana became the first Pelicans pitcher to throw seven innings since 2019

Tyler Santana became the first Pelicans pitcher to throw seven innings since 2019

By Sam Weiderhaft

In a pitching performance that hadn’t been seen at Pelicans Ballpark in three seasons, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans defeated the Lynchburg Hillcats 4-2 in the third game of the series on Thursday night. The Pelicans went up 2-1 on the series and improved their record to 66-33 with a 19-14 second-half clip. Lynchburg dropped to 47-52 and 12-21 in the second half. The Pelicans wore their “Pirate Pelican” jerseys for the fifth time this season in a Thursday tradition.

The star of the night was Tyler Santana (9-1) as he earned his ninth win of the season by pitching seven innings and striking out a career-high 10 with one earned run. Santana allowed seven hits, three coming in the first three batters of the game and one walk. Santana became the first Pelicans pitcher since Erich Uelman on July 28, 2019, to last seven frames. Angel Gonzalez took the save with one unearned run and three strikeouts across the final two innings.

With a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth, Scott McKeon (2-4, 2 RBI) led the Pelicans in his first start at Pelicans Ballpark. Moises Ballesteros (1-2, 2B, RBI, 2 BB) added an RBI double and walked twice. Juan Mora (1-4, RBI, BB) hit an RBI single in the first.

Thursday’s loss went to Damon Casetta-Stubbs (1-2) as he allowed the two-run single to McKeon in the bottom of the sixth. Lynchburg starter Braunny Munoz threw four innings with one earned run and five hits allowed while walking and striking out three.

The lone RBI went to Isaiah Green (1-3, RBI, BB) with his single in the first inning. Dayan Frias (2-4) and Lexer Saduy (2-4) logged multi-hit performances. The Hillcats stranded seven and went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

It was a quick start for both teams as one run came across in the top and bottom of the first. Santana gave up three singles in a row to open the outing with a run coming home on Greene’s hit to left. Victor Planchart grounded into a double play and Richard Paz grounded out to end the inning with a 1-0 Lynchburg lead.

The Pelicans started the same way with Josue Huma leading off with a single and moving to second on a wild pitch. Mora knocked him home on his single to left field to tie the game 1-1.

Still tied in the top of the sixth, the Hillcats threatened to take the lead. Junior Sanquintin hit a two-out single to reach base. Paz followed with a ball hit to left field that went over Parker Chavers’ head to the wall. With Sanquintin coming home, Chavers threw to the cutoff man in Huma who threw it home to Ballesteros at the plate. The tag was in time and the go-ahead run was thrown out to end the inning.

Myrtle Beach took the momentum and turned it into a pair of runs in the bottom half. With two outs, Ballesteros walked, Matt Warkentin singled, and Chavers followed with a single to load the bases. Following a mound visit with Casetta-Stubbs, McKeon lined a 2-1 pitch to left-center field that plated two runs as the Pelicans took their first lead of the night 3-1.

A double by Ballesteros with two outs in the bottom of the seventh scored Jacob Wetzel from second to give the Pelicans a three-run lead at 4-1.

After two strikeouts by Gonzalez to start off the top of the ninth, Saduy hit a single to keep the game going. Marlin Made followed with a single to center as Saduy ran for third. Ezequiel Pagan committed a throwing error trying to throw to third as Saduy scored and Made went to second to cut the lead to 4-2. Wilfri Peralta struck out looking to end the game.

Myrtle Beach and Lynchburg will meet again on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. for the fourth game of the series.