Rucker flirts with no-hitter in win over Dash

Right-hander fires seven strong frames in 2-0 victory

Mike Rucker twirled seven shutout innings in the Pelicans' 2-0 win over Winston-Salem on Wednesday night. (Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

By Joey Liberatore / Myrtle Beach Pelicans | July 12, 2017 8:09 PM ET

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (July 12, 2017) - Mike Rucker twirled seven shutout innings Wednesday to help lead the Pelicans to their 11th shutout win of the season in Myrtle Beach's 2-0 victory over Winston-Salem from TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. 

Rucker (2-2) dominated for Myrtle Beach (51-38, 8-11), holding Winston-Salem (33-57, 9-11) hitless for the first 6.1 innings of the game. Zack Collins' double in the seventh was the Dash's first knock, but Rucker still pitched seven shutout innings, striking out seven against one walk. Dakota Mekkes followed Rucker and recorded the final six outs of the contest, five via the strikeout, to pick up his first save of the season as a Pelican. 

The Birds jumped on Dash starter Alec Hansen (0-2) early. Zack Short kicked off the bottom of the first inning with a walk before advancing to second on a single from P.J Higgins. With one out in the frame, Eddy Martinez singled to right field, scoring Short to give the Birds the 1-0 advantage. Tyler Alamo followed Martinez with a walk to load the bases. Jesse Hodges  delivered with a base hit to center field, giving the Birds the 2-0 advantage. 

Both offenses would go dormant for the remainder of the contest as Rucker and Mekkes set the tone in the opener of their four-game set with the Dash. With the victory, Myrtle Beach is now 6-1 against Winston-Salem this season.

Myrtle Beach will play the second game of their four-game set with the Dash on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. RHP Duncan Robinson (0-1, 4.50 ERA) will throw for Myrtle Beach against RHP Brannon Easterling (5-5, 4.72 ERA). Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on MiLB.tv, MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn.

Thursday's contest will feature Thirsty Thursday, meaning $1.00 12 oz. Bud & Bud Light draughts and $2.00 16 oz. cans from 6-8 p.m. Gates at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark will open at 6:00 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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