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Pelicans Score 13 Unanswered to Top Fireflies

May 18, 2022

Myrtle Beach has outscored Columbia 28-7 in the first two games of the series

Myrtle Beach has outscored Columbia 28-7 in the first two games of the series

By Sam Weiderhaft

After falling behind 2-0 early, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans rallied for 13 runs in the final five innings to win their second game of the series 13-2 over the Columbia Fireflies. The fourth straight win for the Birds improved their record to 24-11, while the Fireflies dropped to 11-24. The Pelicans have scored double-digit runs in back-to-back games to open the series.

Myrtle Beach collected 17 more hits after a 15-hit performance on Tuesday night. Juan Mora (3-6, 2 RBI, 3 R) and Pete Crow-Armstrong (3-6, 2B, 2 R) led the team in hits while Felix Stevens (1-5, HR, 3 RBI, BB) paced the Birds with a two-run homer and an RBI walk. Every hitter in the starting lineup knocked at least one hit as 15 of the 17 hits were singles. Myrtle Beach also drew a season-high-tying 10 walks in the game.

Four pitchers appeared for the Pelicans with Luis Angel Rodriguez (4-0) taking the win with 3 1/3 scoreless innings with just one hit allowed and four strikeouts with a pair of walks. Wednesday’s starter Porter Hodge lasted just under four innings and sacrificed the only two earned runs off four hits and two walks while striking out five.

Columbia’s offense sputtered after their two-run first as Carter Jensen (1-4, 2B, RBI, R) and Darryl Collins (2-3, 3B, RBI) gave the home team their only runs for the game. Wednesday marked the second game in a row where Columbia has scored first but failed to win the game.

After a great start by the seventh overall pick from the 2021 MLB Draft Frank Mozzicato, the wheels came off once Columbia turned to the bullpen. Mozzicato tossed the first three innings with just one hit allowed and no runs with three strikeouts to three walks. Delvin Capellan (0-2) took the loss with eight runs, five earned through his 2 1/3 innings of relief work. Capellan walked two and gave up the home run to Stevens in the fourth.

The home team plated two runs in the first inning for the second straight game. After Hodge retired the first two batters, Guillermo Quintana singled and came in to score on a double by Jensen to right field. Collins dunked a single into center field to bring in Jensen for a 2-0 Fireflies lead.

Following a scoreless three innings, the massacre started in the top of the fourth with a pair of runs for the Pelicans. Jacob Wetzel drew a walk with two outs and Stevens crushed a 1-0 pitch to deep left field for his second home run of the season as the game tied 2-2.

Myrtle Beach kept it going with a two-run fifth to take advantage. Mora and James Triantos hit back-to-back singles with one out to put two runners on. After a Kevin Made flyout, BJ Murray Jr. singled to left to score Mora as the Pelicans went up 3-2. Malcom Quintero followed with a single up the middle to score Triantos and add to the Myrtle Beach lead.

The scoring bled to the sixth inning as the Birds broke the game open. Following the first out, Crow-Armstrong hit an infield single to third and Mora reached second on a fielding error by River Town in center field to place runners on second and third. Triantos brought both runners in with a bloop single to right field for a 6-2 Myrtle Beach lead. Made hit a single to follow and knocked Capellan out of the game in favor of Luis Barroso. After Murray struck out looking, Quintero hit another single to center as Triantos came in, and Made moved to second. The train continued with Wetzel singling to right to bring in Made and extend the lead to 8-2.

Another pair of runs came in for the Pelicans in the top of the seventh as Ezequiel Pagan hit a single and Crow-Armstrong doubled to left to put two runners in scoring position with nobody out. Mora cashed in with a single to center to score both runners as the lead moved to 10-2 Myrtle Beach.

The finishing touches were placed in the top of the ninth off three bases-loaded walks. Murray, Wetzel, and Stevens all walked to bring in the three runs as the Pelicans routed the Fireflies 13-2.

Myrtle Beach will take a two-game lead into the third game on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.