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Clutch Hit Never Comes, Pelicans Drop First Game to Charleston

(Kristin Call/Myrtle Beach)
September 13, 2022

Myrtle Beach faces elimination in game two

Myrtle Beach faces elimination in game two

By Sam Weiderhaft

In the first game of the Carolina League South Division Championship series, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans fell to the Charleston RiverDogs 6-1 on Tuesday night on the road. With the loss, the Pelicans now must win on Thursday night to force a game three. Charleston will clinch a spot in the championship series with one more win.

The Pelicans left 10 runners on base and went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position as many opportunities were left behind. Kevin Alcantara (2-4, HR, RBI) hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth for the Birds’ only run. Josue Huma (2-4, BB) knocked two singles and walked to reach base three times.

Starter Grant Kipp (0-1) took the loss with two earned runs through his four frames while allowing six hits. Kipp struck out two in the opening game. Saul Gonzalez followed with an earned run in just over an inning and Johzan Oquendo let three earned runs cross the plate while retiring just two.

The RiverDogs tallied 13 hits with five being extra in the victory. Junior Caminero (4-4, 2B, 3 RBI) brought home three and collected four hits to lead the lineup. Willy Vasquez (1-3, 2 RBI, BB) brought home two on a single, and Ryan Spikes (2-4, HR, RBI) hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second.

Charleston used just three pitchers with starter JJ Goss (1-0) earning the win with just one earned run in six frames. Goss allowed six hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Antonio Jimenez followed with two shutout innings and Roel Garcia struck out three in the final inning. Both teams were clean in the field with no errors.

The game’s first run came in the RiverDogs’ half of the second when Spikes hit a solo home run to left with two outs.

After the Pelicans had a chance to score in the top of the third that was washed away by a double play, Charleston added to their lead in the bottom half. With a runner on second, Caminero grounded a single to right that scored Shane Sasaki for a 2-0 lead.

The Pelicans once again had a chance with runners on first and second and one out in the top of the fourth. James Triantos and Jacob Wetzel both grounded out to end the inning without any runs.

Charleston scored again with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. After Carson Williams doubled and moved to third on a passed ball, Caminero hit another single to left that extended the lead to 3-0.

The only run of the game for the Pelicans came in the bottom of the sixth. Down 0-2 with two outs, Alcantara lifted a solo home run to left-center field to cut the deficit down to two.

After the Pelicans left runners on second and third to end the top of the seventh, the RiverDogs capitalized with a three-run bottom half. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Caminero hit another single up the middle that plated one and left the bases loaded. Chase Watkins came out of the bullpen to replace Oquendo and struck out the first batter he faced. Vasquez followed with a single on a ground ball to right that scored two more runs to push the RiverDogs’ lead to 6-1.

Game two of the first round of the playoffs is set for Thursday night in Myrtle Beach at 7:05 p.m.