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Charleston Relief Pitching Downs Pelicans in 5-1 Loss

(Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
May 11, 2022

The RiverDogs used just two pitchers in game two of the series

The RiverDogs used just two pitchers in game two of the series

By Sam Weiderhaft

For the first time this season, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans dropped their third-straight game with a 5-1 loss to the Charleston RiverDogs on Wednesday night. As the Pelicans dropped the second game of the series, they also gave way to the RiverDogs to take a one-game lead in the Carolina League, South Division standings at 20-9. Myrtle Beach dropped to 19-10 with the loss.

The Pelicans once again struggled to hit with runners in scoring position, going 1-for-8, and leaving eight runners on. Ezequiel Pagan (2-4) and Kevin Alcantara (2-4, R) accounted for half of the Birds' hits on the night. BJ Murray Jr. (1-3, 2B, BB) drove his second extra-base hit of the series with a double in the sixth.

Richard Gallardo (2-1) took his first loss of the year after allowing three runs with two being earned off three hits in his four innings. He also walked one and struck out five in his seventh career start against Charleston. Jarod Wright threw four innings in relief with one solo home run allowed and three strikeouts to two walks.

Luis Leon (2-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI) powered the RiverDogs lineup with a team-leading two RBIs off two extra-base hits. Willy Vasquez (1-5, 2B, RBI) and Gionti Turner (1-3, RBI) also provided runs for the visitors. Charleston totaled nine hits for the night.

The RiverDogs used just two pitchers as Austin Vernon (4-0) shut down the Pelicans out of the bullpen with just one hit allowed over his 4 2/3 innings. Vernon struck out eight while walking only two as he navigated the Myrtle Beach lineup. Ben Peoples started the game and gave up seven hits with just one earned run through his 4 1/3 innings.

Charleston jumped out to an early lead for the second time this week with a three-run third. Bobby Seymour grounded a single to left and Mason Auer was hit by a pitch to start the inning. With runners on first and second, Freddvil Chevez chopped a ball back to Gallardo on the mound. Gallardo turned and threw to second with the ball going to the right of the bag and into center field. Seymour scored as Auer went to second and Chevez to first. Abiezel Ramirez grounded up to center field with Pete Crow-Armstrong throwing out Auer at third for the first out. Leon followed with a line drive that hit off Alcantara’s glove in right field and rolled to the wall as Chevez scored for a 2-0 lead. Turner brought home Ramirez from third on a sacrifice fly to center for the inning’s third run.

The Pelicans scored their line run in the bottom of the fourth as James Triantos and Alcantara hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. Kevin Made followed with a single up the middle but Dru Baker threw out Triantos at home for the first out as Alcantara got to third. With Murray at-bat on a 3-1 pitch, Peoples’ offer sailed high for ball four and went to the backstop as Alcantara crossed home to make it a 3-1 RiverDogs lead.

An opportunity for the Pelicans to get back in the game passed by in the bottom of the fifth as the bases loaded up with just one out. Alcantara struck out and Made grounded out to short to end the frame without a run coming home.

The RiverDogs padded their lead with runs in the sixth and ninth innings. With two outs and the bases empty in the top of the sixth, Leon crushed a home run over the right-field wall for his second of the season. With two outs in the ninth, Carson Williams hit a triple to center field and scored on Vasquez’s double to Alcantara in right for a 5-1 RiverDogs advantage.

Myrtle Beach and Charleston will meet for game three on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. after the RiverDogs have taken the first two contests of the series.