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Alcantara’s Grand Slam Powers Pelicans to Victory over RiverDogs

(Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
May 12, 2022

Buddy Bailey collected his 2,222 win on Thursday night

Buddy Bailey collected his 2,222 win on Thursday night

By Sam Weiderhaft

With the power of two opposite-field home runs to right field, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans won their first game of the week against the Charleston RiverDogs 13-4 on Thursday night from Pelicans Ballpark. The win evened both teams at a 20-10 record while the Pelicans went back into a tie for the top spot in the Carolina League, South Division standings with the RiverDogs. Thursday’s win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Birds while Charleston saw their six-consecutive victories come to an end.

On a night where every player in the starting lineup collected at least one hit, it was Kevin Alcantara (1-5, HR, 4 RBI) who stole the show with his grand slam in the fifth inning. It was the first grand slam of the season for Myrtle Beach. Juan Mora (2-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R, BB) smashed two extra-base hits with a solo homer in the seventh. Pete Crow-Armstrong (2-4, 3B, 2 RBI, 3 R) added to the effort with a triple and an RBI single.

Luis Angel Rodriguez (3-0) took his third win of the year with two innings of one-run baseball while walking a season-high six batters and striking out five. Bryan King earned the save by retiring all nine batters he faced to close out the game.

The RiverDogs left at least one runner on base in the first seven frames of the ballgame as they went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners on base in total. Willy Vasquez (1-4, HR, RBI, BB) hit the lone home run for Charleston while Bobby Seymour (1-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R) led the team with a pair of runs batted in.

Victor Munoz (3-2) took the loss with five earned runs off four hits through his three innings in relief. The five-man pitching staff combined for six walks and just four strikeouts in the defeat.

For the third time this week, the RiverDogs took the lead first with a three-run top of the third. Shane Sasaki smacked a double with one out and Carson Williams walked to put two runners on. After Vasquez grounded out to advance both runners, Seymour drove a pitch to deep center to score both runners. Mason Auer followed with a triple to the wall in right to score Seymour as Charleston took a 3-0 lead.

The Pelicans quickly responded in their half of the third as Crow-Armstrong grounded a ball down the right-field line into the corner for a triple with one out. Mora then doubled to center field to score the run and came home to score on a James Triantos single up the middle for a 3-2 RiverDogs lead.

Vasquez started the top of the fifth with his first homer of the season to right-center field to put the visitors up 4-2. It was hit on just the second pitch thrown by Rodriguez out of the bullpen.

Another quick response by Myrtle Beach led to a five-run fifth inning. Reginald Preciado and Jacob Wetzel hit back-to-back singles to place runners on the corners with nobody out. Crow-Armstrong followed with an infield single to third as Preciado scored to make it a one-run game. After Mora grounded out to advance both runners, Triantos worked a walk to load the bases. On an 0-2 pitch, Alcantara drove a ball over the right-field wall for a grand slam as the Pelicans took their first lead of the week at 7-4.

Charleston threatened to get back in the game as Rodriguez walked three straight to load the bases as the seventh inning opened. King was brought out of the bullpen and proceeded to strike out the following three batters to end the inning.

Following King’s brilliance on the mound, Mora took the fourth pitch of the bottom of the seventh over the right-center field wall for a solo home run to make it an 8-4 Birds lead.

The finishing touches were put on in the eighth inning as the Pelicans hung five more runs on the RiverDogs. Neraldo Catalina walked five batters out of the bullpen while collecting just one out as two runs came in. Triantos plated two more on a fielding error by second baseman Jelfry Marte. After the previous designated hitter Dawson Dimon took the mound to pitch, Kevin Made lined a ball to right field with two outs to bring home another run for a 13-4 advantage.

Myrtle Beach and Charleston will continue their series on Friday night with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m.