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Birds Squash Late Surge for 6-5 Win over Fireflies

May 19, 2022

The Pelicans have now won five straight for the second time this season

The Pelicans have now won five straight for the second time this season

By Sam Weiderhaft

Despite five late runs by the Columbia Fireflies, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans held on for a 6-5 victory on Thursday night. The fifth straight win for the Birds improved them to 25-11 on the season while the Fireflies dropped to 11-25 with their third loss of the week.

Kevin Made (2-3, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) led the Pelicans with a pair of extra-base hits with Felix Stevens (1-5, HR, 2 RBI) providing two more runs. Reginald Preciado (1-3, HR, RBI, BB) smashed his first home run of the season in the fourth inning.

Myrtle Beach starter Luis Devers (3-3) had a great outing with five scoreless innings and just two hits allowed. Devers struck out five en route to his third win of the season. Sheldon Reed locked the door out of the bullpen by retiring all six batters he faced with three strikeouts while earning his fourth save of the season.

Columbia racked up eight hits for the evening with Erick Pena (2-3, RBI) as the only Firefly with multiple hits. Guillermo Quintana (1-4, RBI, R) had a solid night out of the three spot with an RBI and a single. The Fireflies totaled all their runs in the seventh and eighth innings.

Thursday night’s starter Wander Arias (1-3) gave up the bulk of the runs with five earned across his 4 2/3 innings while taking the loss. The Fireflies bullpen gave up just one hit and one earned run through the final 4 1/3 innings.

For the first time this series, the Pelicans took the lead first as two came across in the second inning. BJ Murray Jr. was hit by a pitch and Jacob Wetzel singled with one out to bring up Stevens. On the first pitch, Stevens drilled a double to left field to empty the bases and give the Birds an early 2-0 lead.

Another run came in the fourth as Preciado hit the first pitch of his at-bat over the right-center field wall for a solo home run with two outs.

The Pelicans cashed in for two more runs in the fifth with James Triantos hitting a single with one out to get on base. Following a Kevin Alcantara strikeout, Made lined a double to left to score Triantos for a 4-0 Pelicans lead. Made came home on Murray’s single to left.

Made polished off the Pelicans' lead with a solo homer in the top of the seventh to left field with one out.

The late rally for Columbia started after the stretch as their first run came in the bottom of the seventh. Carter Jensen was hit by a pitch from Chase Watkins to get on base with one out. Following Gary Camarillo’s strikeout, Pena singled to right to move runners to the corners. Daniel Vazquez hit an infield single to third to score Jensen and put Columbia on the board.

The Fireflies put a late scare on the Pelicans with four runs in the bottom of the eighth. As Frankie Scalzo Jr. came on in relief, he hit Omar Florentino, gave up a double to Enrique Valdez, and a walk to Darryl Collins to load the bases. Everybody moved up on Quintana’s single to make it a 6-2 game. Jensen lined a single up the middle to score two more as the Fireflies came within striking distance. Following Camarillo’s strikeout, Pena hit a sacrifice fly to center to plate Pena with the tying run on the basepaths.

Reed retired the Fireflies in order in the bottom of the ninth to close the game out.

Myrtle Beach and Columbia will meet for game four of the series on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.