KINSTON, N.C. (April 12, 2018) - The Myrtle Beach offense exploded Thursday, but the Pelicans came up short in a wild 16-14 loss to the Down East Wood Ducks at Grainger Stadium.
The Pelicans (1-7) led 12-10 going to the bottom of the seventh when LeDarious Clark walked and Anderson Tejeda singled against Myrtle Beach reliever Chad Hockin (0-2) to begin the inning. Two batters later, Alex Kowalczyk singled in Clark to pull the Wood Ducks (12-11) to within one. After Chuck LeBlanc flew out, an error allowed Preston Scott to reach, bringing in two runs. Andretty Cordero then singled in Scott to make it 14-12 Down East.
Myrtle Beach plated a run in the top of the eighth when Vimael Machin was hit by a pitch from Down East reliever Locke St. John (1-0), but the Wood Ducks garnered some important insurance runs in the bottom of the frame. Blaine Prescott singled and Clark doubled to put runners on second and third. Tejeda tripled both runners in to widen the margin to 16-13.
In the top of the ninth inning, Down East catcher Shaq Matta, who came on the mound in the eighth to make his first career pitching appearance and retired Jhonny Pereda on a fly out to right with the bases loaded, walked both Daniel Spingola and Austin Upshaw with one out. After a strikeout, Aramis Ademan singled in Spingola to pull the Birds to within 16-14. However, Matta induced an Andruw Monasterio fly out to end the ballgame and pick up his first career save.
The Birds got off to a hot start in the first inning. Monasterio doubled, and two batters later, Machin did the same to plate the game's first run. Pereda followed with an RBI single of his own. Chris Pieters then doubled before Spingola walked to load the bases. An error brought in another Pelicans run, and two batters after that, Ademan doubled in two more to make it 5-0.
The Wood Ducks scored in their first at-bats on a Taveras RBI single, but Myrtle Beach got the run back on P.J. Higgins' home run to make it 6-1.
Down East plated three runs in the third on RBI singles by LeBlanc and Scott, and an RBI ground out by Cordero. The Woodies added two in the fourth on a Myrtle Beach error to tie the score at six.
Both sides traded runs in the fifth to make the contest seven-all.
In the sixth inning, Kowalczyk doubled in a run and Scott tripled in two more to put the Wood Ducks ahead 10-7.
Down by three, the Pelicans came roaring back. Spingola and Upshaw each reached on an error to begin the seventh. Two batters later, Ademan singled in a run. Monasterio and Higgins each followed with RBI singles of their own to knot the tally at 10. Later in the frame, Pereda notched an RBI single and Pieters lifted a sacrifice fly to make it 12-10.
The 14 runs Myrtle Beach scored were the club's most all season, dwarfing their previous high of four. The club nearly matched its season total coming into the contest of 17. Monasterio, Higgins, Machin, Pereda, Myers and Ademan each notched multi-hit games, and every Pelican batter reached base at least once, with eight doing so multiple times. Ademan matched a career-high with four RBIs.
The Birds and Wood Ducks play the second game of a four-game set with Friday's 7 p.m. contest. LHP Bryan Hudson (0-1, 7.20 ERA) goes against Down East RHP Michael Matuella (0-0, 3.60 ERA). Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn.
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. The park 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 as well. In June 2017, TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark won the 2017 TripAdvisor.com Certificate of Excellence award. The Pelicans have 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 emailing Info@MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.
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