All nine batters reached base safely in Friday night’s win
Off the production of 13 hits, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans won their 10th game in their last 12 with an 8-1 victory over the Columbia Fireflies on Friday night. Myrtle Beach moved up to 13-6 with the win, while Columbia dropped to 7-12. Costumes decorated Pelicans Ballpark during the game as the home crowd celebrated “Halfway to Halloween Night” with a postgame fireworks show to cap it off.
The Pelicans flipped their clutch hitting around from last night by going 6-for-17 with runners in scoring position and racking up 13 hits for the game. Pete Crow-Armstrong (2-5, HR, 2 RBI) pulled his third home run of the season over the right-field wall and extended his hitting streak to seven games. Juan Mora (3-5, 2B, R) led the team in hits with James Triantos (2-5, RBI) and Yeison Santana (2-4, RBI, R) both posting multi-hit performances with runs batted in.
Porter Hodge (2-0) threw just under 80 pitches and picked up the win with five scoreless innings of work. Hodge allowed just two hits and three walks while striking out six. Luis Angel Rodriguez followed in relief with three scoreless frames and two hits with three walks and five more strikeouts.
Columbia struggled at the plate with just five hits and 11 strikeouts. Guillermo Quintana (2-5, RBI) brought home the only run and logged the only multi-hit game for the Fireflies. Rubendy Jaquez (1-3, 2B, BB) hit a double for the lone extra-base hit of the contest for Columbia.
The Fireflies used just two pitchers with Rylan Kaufman (1-1) taking the loss in his four innings of work. In his eighth game started against the Birds in his career, Kaufman allowed six runs, three earned off eight hits while collecting three strikeouts. Wander Arias followed with four innings out of the bullpen and two more earned runs off five hits. The errors proved to be another problem for Columbia as the defense tallied four for the game, making their error total 13 in the first four games of the series.
Myrtle Beach capitalized and took an early lead with three errors by Columbia in the bottom of the second. With one out, BJ Murray Jr. reached base on a throwing error by third baseman Rubendy Jaquez and moved to second on the wild throw. Santana followed by dribbling a grounder up the middle to Kaufman. His throw to first sailed high as Murray scored the first run and Santana went to second. Santana moved up one more base after the ball rolled underneath River Town in right field on the second error of the play. Santana scored on Ethan Hearn’s sacrifice fly to Erick Pena in center to make it a 2-0 Pelicans lead.
Another pair of runs came one inning later by the Birds. Crow-Armstrong hit an infield single to second to lead off. He moved to second on a wild pitch by Kaufman and third on Juan Mora’s infield single to first. Triantos knocked in a run with a line-drive single up the middle to extend the lead to 3-0. After Kevin Alcantara struck out for the first out, Peter Matt tapped a ball a few feet away from home plate. Catcher Felix Familia picked it up and threw it wildly to first for the Fireflies fourth error as Mora scored and Matt moved to second on the single.
The runs kept coming for the Pelicans in their half of the fourth. Hearn singled to right and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Liam Spence. Crow-Armstrong came up and drove an 0-1 pitch over the right-field wall for this third home run of the season and gave his team a 6-0 lead.
Myrtle Beach scored for the fourth inning in a row as Alcantara led off the fifth with a walk on Arias. He moved to second on a passed ball by Familia and scored with two outs on Santana’s single to right for a 7-0 Birds lead.
The final run for the Pelicans was tacked on in the bottom of the seventh as Alcantara doubled to deep center with one out. Murray knocked him in two batters later with a single to left.
Columbia avoided the shutout with a lone run in the top of the ninth. Johzan Oquendo came on for the Pelicans out of the bullpen and walked Town with one out. Town moved up to third on a groundout by Darryl Collins and scored on Quintana’s single to left to finish up the game 8-1.
Game five between Myrtle Beach and Columbia is slated for Saturday night at 6:05 p.m.