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Pelicans become first MiLB team to 50 wins with 8-3 victory over RiverDogs

(Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
June 30, 2022

Myrtle Beach collected 10 hits, struck out 13, and did not commit an error in the third game of the series

Myrtle Beach collected 10 hits, struck out 13, and did not commit an error in the third game of the series

By Sam Weiderhaft

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans took Thursday night’s battle 8-3 over the Charleston RiverDogs to go up 2-1 in the series. With the win, the Pelicans became the first Minor League Baseball team to reach 50 wins on the season. Their record stands at 50-22, with a 3-3 record in the second half. The RiverDogs dropped to 48-24 with the loss and 2-4 in the second half of the season.

For the second time in three nights, the Pelicans totaled double-digit hits with 10 knocks on Thursday. Josue Huma (1-4, HR, 4 RBI) powered the Pelicans’ lineup with a three-run homer and sacrifice fly. Felix Stevens (2-3, RBI, R, BB) and Ethan Hearn (2-3, RBI, R, BB) both brought runs home on singles and posted multi-hit performances. Eight of the nine players in the Myrtle Beach lineup reached base safely.

Another Pelicans’ starting pitcher had a great night as Tyler Schlaffer (3-3) threw six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts while allowing just three hits and a walk. Jose Miguel Gonzalez gave up the three runs in his two innings off five hits. Angel Hernandez tossed the final inning with three strikeouts and a hit allowed.

The breakout player for the RiverDogs was Oneill Manzueta (3-4, RBI, R) with three singles and an RBI in the seventh. Ryan Spikes (2-5, 2B, RBI) hit an RBI double in the seventh and a single in the ninth for multiple hits.

Charleston starter Austin Vernon (9-1) lost his first game of the season in his first start. Vernon threw the opening five frames with four runs, three earned off six hits, and two walks while striking out two. Brayden Theriot was the fourth and final pitcher used by the RiverDogs as he allowed the final three runs to cross the plate off four hits in the eighth.

As Schlaffer kept the RiverDogs quiet through six innings, the Pelicans scored in the second and fifth for support. With a runner on third and one out, Stevens lined a single to left to bring a run home and put Myrtle Beach in front first.

The Pelicans walked twice in the bottom of the fifth to set up the three-run homer for Huma with one out. It was the third home run of the season for Huma as the Pelicans took a 4-0 lead after five.

With Schlaffer’s night concluding after six innings, Gonzalez took over in the seventh. Willy Vasquez took his first pitch to center for a double and scored on Manzueta’s single to put Charleston on the board. After retiring the following two batters, Gonzalez gave up back-to-back RBI doubles to Jelfty Marte and Spikes as the RiverDogs cut the lead down to 4-3.

Ezequiel Pagan stepped up with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom half of the seventh. On an 0-2 pitch, Pagan lightly tapped a ball just a few feet in front of the plate. Catcher Julio Meza’s throw to first went wide and reached the wall in the corner. Pagan touched all four bases to score on the throwing error to make it 5-3 Myrtle Beach.

The Pelicans tacked on three more off four hits in the bottom of the eighth, Malcom Quintero and Hearn both hit RBI singles as Myrtle Beach started off the inning with four hits in a row. Huma finished it off with a sacrifice fly to go up 8-3.

Myrtle Beach’s Red, White, and Blue weekend will kick off on Friday night with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. against the Charleston RiverDogs.