Pelicans' comeback attempt falls short

Hodges' three RBIs and the pitching staff's 14 strikeouts not enough in 5-3 defeat

Jesse Hodges notched two hits and drove in three in Saturday's 5-3 loss to Lynchburg. (Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

By Joey Liberatore / Myrtle Beach Pelicans | April 15, 2017 11:36 PM ET

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (April 15, 2017) - Despite a late rally and two hits and three RBIs from Jesse Hodges, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans fell 5-3 Saturday to the Lynchburg Hillcats at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. 

Hillcats (4-6) starter Shao-Ching Chaing (1-1) was terrific in the Lynchburg victory, lasting a full seven innings. Chaing surrendered just one unearned run while striking out four en route to his first victory of the season. 

Sam Haggerty hit a leadoff triple off Pelicans (5-5) starter Casey Bloomquist (0-2). A Ka'ai Tom ground out gave the Hillcats an early 1-0 lead. 

In the bottom of the first, Bryant Flete, who had three hits, singled with two outs. An errant pick-off move and a wild pitch moved Flete to third, setting up Hodges for a two-out RBI single into right field to knot the game at one.

With one out in the fourth, Claudio Bautista walked just before Anthony Miller launchedan RBI double off the center field wall. Later in the inning, with Miller at third, Haggerty extended the lead by driving in Miller to make the score 3-1 Lynchburg.  

In the top of the fifth, Sicnarf Loopstock led off the frame with a solo home run to left, adding to the Lynchburg lead at 4-1.

Tom walked with one out in the seventh. Two batters later, he came into score on an Andrew Calica RBI single into right field, making the score 5-1. 

In the bottom of the ninth inning, the Pelicans tried a valiant comeback. Tyler Alamo led off the inning with a walk before Flete singled to right. Hodges then lines a two-run double to left to make it a 5-3 game. Following Hodges' double, the Pelicans brought the tying run to the plate, but Argenis Angulo locked down the game striking out three of the last four batters to end it and pick up his first save. 

Myrtle Beach's bullpen trio of Dillon MaplesPedro Araujo and James Norwood fanned 10 Hillcats in just five innings of two-run ball.

Sunday's 6:05 p.m. series finale features Pelicans' RHP Adbert Alzolay (0-1, 4.82 ERA) against Hillcats RHP Matt Esparza (0-2, 6.75 ERA). Roverage begins on MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn at 5:50. Saturday's game will also be broadcast on WWMB CW21 and MiLB.tv beginning at 6 p.m.

The Pelicans will be celebrating Easter Sunday with a special appearance from the Easter Bunny, as well as a pregame helicopter candy drop. In addition to their Easter celebration, the Chicago Cubs will have a special 2016 World Series ring ceremony for Myrtle Beach's coaching staff, executives and fans. Gates open at 5 p.m.

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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