Myrtle Beach drops opener to Hillcats

Birds offense stiffled in 3-1 loss

Tommy Thorpe tossed three shutout innings out of the bullpen in Friday's loss to Lynchburg. (Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

By Joey Liberatore / Myrtle Beach Pelicans | May 12, 2017 10:18 PM ET

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (May 12, 2017) - The Myrtle Beach Pelicans' offense was stifled in Friday's series opener in a 3-1 loss to the Lynchburg Hillcats TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

The Hillcats (17-15) kicked off the scoring in the fourth inning against Myrtle Beach (19-16) starter Justin Steele (1-3). Connor Marabell started the frame with a base hit, and advanced to second base on a walk drawn by Martin Cervenka. Marabell would then come in to score on an error. With two outs and runners on second and third, Willi Castro laced a two-run single that extended the Lynchburg lead to 3-0. 

Myrtle Beach fought back against the Lynchburg starter Shao-Ching Chiang (5-1), in the bottom half of the fourth. With two outs in the inning, back-to-back doubles from Daniel Spingola and Matt Rose gave the Birds their first run of the game. 

However, Chiang was terrific for the Hillcats, tossing seven innings of one-run ball for Lynchburg. The right-hander has now gone at least seven inning in five straight starts. 

Steele ceded just three unearned runs on five hits in five innings, walking three against three strikeouts. Tommy Thorpe pitched three shutout frames out of the bullpen before giving way to Marc Huberman , who tossed a scoreless ninth. 

The middle game of the three-game set with the Hillcats comes on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. RHP Oscar De La Cruz (2-2, 3.68 ERA) takes the ball against Lynchburg's RHP Matt Esparza (2-2, 2.32 ERA). Television coverage of Saturday's contest begins at 7 p.m. on The CW21 and MiLB.tv. A radio broadcast starts at 6:50 p.m. on MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn. Tomorrow's broadcast will also be broadcasted on The CW21 and MiLB.TV with coverage starting at 7:00. 

Saturday's contest is Military Appreciation Night, meaning the Pelicans will be wearing commemorative jerseys that will be raffled off to veterans. The first 1,000 fans will receive a card set featuring 36 veterans being honored in the night's ceremony. The night will then be capped off with a special Postgame Fireworks Extravaganza show, presented by East Coast Pyrotechnics. 

The 2017 season is the 19th season for the Pelicans franchise and third as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. For information on tickets to see the Pelicans in 2017, please call (843) 918-6000, e-mail info@myrtlebeachpelicans.com, or visit www.MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.

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. The park has ranked in the top eight in all of Minor League Baseball by Stadium Journey in each of the last six seasons. The same publication also placed the Pelicans in the Top 100 Stadium Experiences in all of sports in each of the last six years and the best in the Carolina League for six straight seasons as well. In May 2015, TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark won the 2015 TripAdvisor.com Certificate of Excellence award. The Pelicans are the two-time defending Mills Cup Champions, winning the title in 2015 and 2016 as well as 2000 and co-Mills Cup championship honors in the inaugural 1999 season. The Pelicans have made ten postseason appearances behind 12 half-season Southern Division championships, including the first half of the 2015 season and second half of 2016. For more information on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, please contact the Pelicans at (843) 918-6000 or emailing 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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