WOODBRIDGE, Va. (August 10, 2017) - A Zack Short homer in the eighth inning Thursday capped a wild comeback, but Potomac's Jack Sundberg hit a walk-off two-run home run in the ninth to give the Nationals a 9-8 win and series sweep of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Pftizner Stadium.
Myrtle Beach (59-57, 16-30) led 8-7 when reliever Pedro Araujo (4-1) walked Daniel Johnson with one out in the ninth. Sundberg then slammed a two-run homer to win the game for Potomac (53-62, 20-25). The Nationals executed their first sweep of the Pelicans since 2013, with the Birds falling in their first road brooming since July 22-24 of the 2015 campaign.
The Pelicans initially took the lead for the first time in the eighth. Trailing 6-4, Eddy Martinez was hit by a pitch and Tyler Pearson singled to begin the frame. A walk to pinch hitter Adonis Paula loaded the bases before a wild pitch brought in a Birds run. Roberto Caro notched an RBI groundout to pull Myrtle Beach to within 7-6. Potomac then elected to bring in reliever R.C. Orlan (1-0), who was greeted by Short's two-run shot to left to put Myrtle Beach in front.
Potomac built an early lead until the Pelicans' frantic rally late. In the first inning, Sundberg singled with one out and stole second. Two batters later, he scored on an Ian Sagdal RBI single. The Nationals made it 2-0 when Jakson Reetz homered to start the second.
The tally remained 2-0 until the fifth. Robert Garcia , who had two hits, and Caro each singled with one out. Short registered one of his three walks to load the bases for Vimael Machin , who deposited a two-run single to left to knot the score at two.
However, the P-Nats came roaring right back to grab the lead. Rhett Wiseman doubled and Dale Carey singled him in to promptly give Potomac a 3-2 advantage in the bottom of the fifth. Later in the frame, Sundberg lifted a sacrifice fly to add to the margin at 4-2.
With two outs in the sixth, Pelicans reliever Jordan Minch hit Reetz with a pitch and walked Wiseman. Carey placed a two-run triple to add to the lead at 6-2.
Garcia jumpstarted the seventh with a leadoff single and Caro drilled his first home run, a two-run shot, to halve the lead at 6-4. It was Caro's first long ball since July 15, 2014 when he played for the DSL Cubs.
Like earlier in the game, Potomac had a quick answer for a Pelicans run. Johnson was hit by a pitch and stole second base to begin the bottom of the seventh. After a strikeout, a groundout bumped him to third. Johnson then raced home on a wild pitch to pad the advantage at 7-4.
The Pelicans return home to begin a three-game series with the Carolina Mudcats in Friday's 7:05 p.m. contest. RHP Mike Rucker (4-2, 2.02 ERA) starts for the Birds against Muddies RHP Zack Brown (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on MiLB.tv, MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn.
Friday's contest is a Wine and Dessert Foodie Friday, meaning fans can upgrade their gameday ticket to enjoy these specialty food items. A Fidget Spinner Friday means the first 500 fans 12 and under will receive a collectable Pelicans fidget spinner.
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.