Birds split de facto doubleheader with Mudcats

Pelicans run away with 9-0 win before being edged 2-1 in second game

Kevin Brown capped a career-high four-RBI game with a three-run home run in the seventh inning of the Pelicans' 9-0 win on Sunday. (Larry Kave / Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

By Mason Robinson / Myrtle Beach Pelicans | July 12, 2015 10:29 PM ET

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (JULY 12, 2015) - The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, slugged their way to a 9-0 win in the completion of Saturday's suspended game before being edged by the Carolina Mudcats, 2-1, in Sunday's seven-inning affair at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

Before rain and lighting suspended play on Saturday, the Pelicans (48-39, 7-11 second half) took advantage of a throwing error to break a scoreless tie in the third inning. Trey Martin began the frame with a bunt single and Mark Zagunis was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat. Two batters later, Jeimer Candelario bounced a ground ball to first, where Tanner Krietemeier touched the base but threw the ball away from home plate, allowing Martin to score the go-ahead run.

With one out, a man at first, and the Birds leading 1-0 into the fourth inning, rain halted play just before Carolina left fielder Dustin Peterson stepped to the plate. To that point, Pelicans starter Daury Torrez had not allowed a hit in his first 3 1/3 innings against the Mudcats (43-44, 9-9 second half). The only two baserunners the right-hander allowed came by way of a pair of walks to right fielder Connor Lien.

After a one-hour and eight-minute rain delay, the game was officially suspended at 9:24 p.m. ET.

Through the first three innings, Mudcats starter Brandon Barker scattered four hits while striking out three batters.

On Sunday, Michael Heesch (6-0) took over in the continuation of the suspended game and pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings. The left-hander scattered three hits while striking out two en route to his sixth win out of the bullpen.

The Birds pounced on right-hander Andrew Waszak for five runs in the fifth. Three consecutive walks loaded the bases for Victor Caratini, who knocked in a run with an RBI single up the middle. Back-to-back fielder's choices gave the Pelicans a 4-0 lead, and two batters later, Trey Martin smacked a two-run single to left for a 6-0 Myrtle Beach advantage.

Waszak was lifted after walking the first two batters to begin the seventh. With right-hander Justin Jackson on in relief, Brown then added to the Pelicans' lead with a three-run home run to right field, his second hit of the game. Brown set a career-high four RBI with that hit to give the Birds a 9-0 lead.

David Berg entered the final frame and allowed an infield single but pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out the 9-0 win. Waszak tied a career-high seven earned runs while also tying a career-high with five walks, but Barker (3-2) was saddled with the loss.

Right-hander Jeremy Null took the mound to start Sunday's seven-inning contest and retired the first nine batters that he faced. However the Mudcats grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when second baseman Keith Curcio led off with a triple, and Lien knocked him in with a single to right.

Carolina later moved ahead 2-0 in the fifth when designated hitter Sal Giardina cracked an RBI double into the right-field corner.

Candelario grabbed a run back when he cut the Carolina lead to 2-1 on an RBI single to right field in the sixth.

That would be the only run the Birds would score as starter Blair Walters (5-2) finished the inning. He struck out six batters in his six innings of work without allowing a walk to pick up his fifth win of the season.

Richie Tate fired a perfect seventh inning and struck out the final two batters of the game to seal his first save of the year and a 2-1 Carolina win.

The Pelicans wrap up their seven-game homestand on Monday with the series finale against the Mudcats scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET. The Birds will send right-hander Brad Markey (0-0, 1.50) to the hill while the Mudcats hand the ball to righty Seth Webster (4-5, 2.83).

Monday's game can be heard live on 1450 WRNN-AM ESPN Myrtle Beach, on the TuneIn Radio App, and via the MiLB First Pitch App, beginning with the Pregame Show at 6:45 p.m. ET. The games will also air along with live streaming video on MiLB.tv (subscription required).

It will also be Backpack Buddies Monday and fans who donate an item from the approved donation list can receive half-price admission to TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. For fans 21-years-old and older, it will also be Thirsty Monday, featuring $1.00 12-ounce Bud and Bud Light draughts and $2.00 16-ounce cans from 6:00‒8:00 p.m. ET.   

The 2015 season marks the 17th season for the Pelicans franchise and first as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. For information on tickets to see the Pelicans in 2015, please call (843) 918-6000, e-mail info@myrtlebeachpelicans.com, or visit www.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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