Wilmington, DE - The Wilmington Blue Rocks (16-22) were able to ride the right arm of starting pitcher Jace Vines in the first game of a doubleheader en route to a 3-1 win over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (16-23) Wednesday before the Rocks dropped the second game of the twin bill 10-1 at Frawley Stadium. Vines earned his first complete game of the season and allowed just one run in the seven innings of work. The Blue Rocks were held to just two hits in the second game of the doubleheader.
Wilmington didn't have to do much to earn its first run as Pelicans' pitcher Tyson Miller hit Khalil Lee with a pitch and then gave up three straight walks, including a bases loaded walk to Meibrys Viloria , to give the Blue Rocks the early 1-0 lead. The Blue Rocks struck again in the bottom of the third when Chris Devito grounded into a fielder's choice that brought the hustling Lee home to make it a 2-0 ballgame.
In the next inning, the Pelicans would cut the lead back to one as a sacrifice fly by Kevonte Mitchell to center was deep enough for Jhonny Pereda to cross the plate and score the lone Myrtle Beach run to make it 2-1. The Blue Rocks added another insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Emmanuel Rivera scored on a wild pitch to make it the final score of 3-1. Vines was dominant all afternoon and wasted no time in the top of the seventh with a one-two-three inning to earn his second win of the season and tossed the first complete game of the season for a Blue Rocks' starter.
In the second game, the Blue Rocks offense were held in check as the Pelicans pounded out 14 hits and scored 10 runs in the second seven-inning contest. Myrtle Beach strung together four straight hits to begin the second inning against starter Anthony Bender to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Wilmington scored a single tally in the home half of the inning on an RBI groundout from Oliver Nunez to pull within a pair of runs. However, that would be the closest the Blue Rocks would come.
The Pelicans scored four more runs in the fifth inning and sent nine men to the plate to make it a 7-1 hole for the Rocks before tacking on a pair of runs in the sixth inning on an RBI single from Wladimir Galindo and an RBI double from Tyler Alamo to push it to 9-1 before adding one more run in the seventh.
Wilmington was limited to just a pair of hits in the loss as Chris DeVito and Xavier Fernandez were the lone batters coming up with hits in the loss.
The Blue Rocks and Pelicans play the rubber match of the three-game series on Thursday, May 17 at Frawley Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with righty Ofreidy Gomez (1-3, 5.40 ERA) makes the start for Wilmington while right-hander Alex Lange (1-2, 4.65 ERA) starts for Myrtle Beach. Fans can listen to the action as Matt Janus and Cory Nidoh have the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
Starter Jace Vines had his longest outing of the season with seven innings pitched in the complete game win to earn his second win of the season. He becomes the second starter in the Blue Rocks rotation to go seven full innings this season. Gerson Garabito pitched seven full innings against the Frederick Keys on May 6 in a 3-2 loss. Vines posted a pair of seven-inning complete game performances last season with the Blue Rocks on August 16 and September 3. The last nine-inning complete game was tossed by Scott Blewett back on July 2 of last year against Salem.
The Blue Rocks played their first double-header of the season against the Pelicans as both teams split the doubleheader. Wilmington played 10 doubleheaders last season, sweeping three, losing four and
splitting another three. The last doubleheader played by the Blue Rocks was on September 3 where they lost
both games at home to the Lynchburg Hillcats.
Third baseman Emmanuel Rivera picked up a pair of hits in the first game of the doubleheader to push his season total to 40 hits, which leads the team. On Sunday, Rivera hit his third home run of the season and drove in three at Carolina to pad his team-lead in that department to 28. The 21-year-old is also paces the team with 11 multi-hit games this season.
THEY SAID IT, MANAGER DARRYL KENNEDY:
(On Vines' outing) "He had all of his pitches today. He was able to throw strikes, stay ahead in the count and induce ground balls with his sinker. That is the guy we have been expecting all year and that was a good start for him."
(On offense manufacturing runs in first game) "It was nice to score those runs the way we did. We aren't always going to have 10 hits, so it was nice to get those runs across the way we did. It was a good game at a good pace. I thought it was a good win for us.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.