MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (May 14, 2017) - Oscar De La Cruz fired a complete-game shutout to help the Pelicans win game one of Sunday's doubleheader, and Eloy Jimenez notched a walk-off walk to finish off the Lynchburg Hillcats 5-4 in 13 innings of the twin bill finale for a Myrtle Beach sweep and series win at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
In game one, Myrtle Beach (21-16) starter Oscar De La Cruz (3-2) stifled the Lynchburg (17-17) batters, as he tossed the Pelicans' second complete game win of the season. De La Cruz allowed just five hits over seven shutout innings, despite striking out just one.
Myrtle Beach wasted no time in kicking off the scoring in game one, as the Birds pinned four runs on the Hillcats in the first. Bryant Flete led off the frame with a base hit to left, and then was joined by P.J. Higgins, who walked to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Two batters later, Jimenez ripped an RBI to left to score Flete and give Myrtle Beach the 1-0 advantage. Eddy Martinez then launched his fourth home run of the season, extending the Pelicans' lead to 4-0.
The Birds continued their offensive attack in the fourth inning. Trent Giambrone kicked off the frame with a base hit into left, setting up Matt Rose , who blasted a two-run shot that cleared the left field bleachers, stretching the Birds' lead to 6-0.
With two outs in the sixth inning, Adonis Paula drew a walk. He would then race into score on an RBI double from Robert Garcia , making the score 7-0.
Game two of the twin bill saw 12 different pitchers between both teams, as the marathon game lasted 13 innings and three hours and 59 minutes.
Lynchburg kicked off the scoring in the top of the third inning. Back-to-back singles from Willi Castro and Claudio Bautista began the frame before a Yonathan Mendoza sacrifice bunt put the two runners into scoring position. Castro would come in to score one batter later on a ground out to make the score 1-0.
Myrtle Beach starter Casey Bloomquist got pushed into a jam in the fifth, as Daniel Salters reached on an error then advanced to second on a single from Castro. With Salters and Castro both on, both runner would then advance 90 feet following a sacrifice bunt from Bautista. Salters would score the second run of the game for the Hillcats, as he advanced home on an infield single from Medonza. Pedro Araujo worked his way out of the jam by getting both batters he faced in the inning to fly out to retire the Hillcats in the fifth.
Connor Marabell led off the sixth inning with a walk, then stole both second and third base. Andrew Calica drove in Marabell with a double into right field, widening the margin to 3-0 in favor of the Hillcats. Calica advanced to third on the third sacrifice bunt in the game from Lynchburg, and then came in to score on a wild pitch, making the tally 4-0.
The Pelicans launched one last rally in the seventh. Rose singled, and then Jesse Hodges reached on an error. Both runners would advance into score position for Flete, who lofted a base hit to left field to plate Rose and put the Birds on the board at 4-1. Giambrone was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Daniel Spingola promptly unloaded the bags with a three-run double to the left-center field gap, tying the game at four.
The Pelicans bullpen tandem of Craig Brooks, Dillon Maples and Kyle Miller retired 21 straight Hillcats from the seventh inning-on to set-up a walk-off for the Birds in the 13th.
Garcia led off the frame with a base hit to center field before stealing second base. Flete singled to right field to put runners on the corners. With one out in the frame, Hillcats manager Tony Mansolino choose to intentionally walk Spingola to load the bases for Jimenez. With the bases juiced, Jimenez drew a four-pitch walk to give the Birds the walk-off win to complete their doubleheader sweep over the Hillcats with a 5-4 victory in game two.
The Pelicans will continue their seven-game homestand on Monday at 7:05 p.m., as they will kickoffa four-game set with the Buies Creek Astros. LHP Ryan Kellogg (1-2, 7.20 ERA) takes the ball against Buies Creek LHP Framber Valdez (0-2, 3.86 ERA). Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on MiLB.tv, MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn.
Monday's contest is a Backpack Buddies Monday, meaning 1/2 price admission for each donation from the approved Backpack Buddies list.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.