Pelicans Dominate Doubleheader Sweep of RiverDogs
Charleston, SC- The Myrtle Beach Pelicans cruised to victories in both ends of a doubleheader against the Charleston RiverDogs on Wednesday night at Joseph. P. Riley, Jr. Park, winning the contests by scores of 7-2 and 8-2. The RiverDogs never held a lead at the end of an inning during the twin bill. The RiverDogs have dropped seven of their last nine games.
Myrtle Beach (9-7) broke through first in the opener, which had the makings of a pitcher’s duel early. RiverDogs starter Marcus Johnson retired eight of the first nine hitters he faced and the bases were empty with two outs in the top of the third. Reivaj Garcia changed that with a double down the third base line to put himself in scoring position. Parker Chavers followed with his second home run of the season, a two-run blast over the right field wall.
A Chavers home run was a significant part of a four-run fifth inning as well. Johnson allowed a trio of singles to make it 3-0 with runners remaining on the corners. He was removed in favor of Alex Cook, who received a rude welcome from Chavers in the form of a three-run home run.
The combination of top Cubs pitching prospect Cade Horton and reliever Saul Gonzalez, kept the RiverDogs off the scoreboard until the seventh and final inning. With two outs, Kamren James and Christopher Barete singled to prolong the game. Odalys Peguero made sure the home team would not be blanked, splitting the gap with a two-RBI triple to reach the final score of 6-2.
Johnson struck out eight over 4.1 innings but took the loss after allowing five runs on six hits. Cook logged 2.2 innings with two runs allowed, one earned, on two hits. He struck out four.
Chavers was the most impactful bat in the contest, finishing 2-4 with two home runs and five RBI. Garcia, and Rafael Morel added two hits each. Peguero collected two of the RiverDogs five knocks.
In the nightcap, the RiverDogs were the “road” team as the game was being made up from a postponement in Myrtle Beach earlier in the month. Charleston (6-11) enjoyed a promising start in the opening inning, but left meat on the bone. Pelicans starter Branden Noriega walked three of the first four hitters he faced to load the bases with one out. The RiverDogs grabbed a 1-0 lead when Noriega was called for a balk. With two remaining in scoring position and one out, a strikeout and infield pop-up followed, and the RiverDogs had to settle for a lone run.
That lead was quickly erased in the bottom of the inning when starter Cade Halemanu walked the leadoff hitter, Garcia. Garcia quickly stole second base and advanced to third on a groundball by Cristian Hernandez. Moises Ballesteros evened the score with a sacrifice fly.
The Pelicans gained separation with several multi-run innings. Ballesteros made it 3-1 with a two-run blast in the third inning, his third home run of the season. In the next frame, a run scored on a Jack Hartman wild pitch before Hernandez drove in two more with a single to center with the bases loaded. Myrtle Beach’s largest lead of the night was attained when Rafael Morel connected for a two-run home run of his own in the sixth to grow the gap to 8-1.
The RiverDogs were hitless with one out in the sixth inning when Peguero stepped to the plate against Johzan Oquendo. The shortstop hit a chopper to the right side which was fielded by second baseman Pedro Ramirez. When Ramirez couldn’t get the ball out of his glove cleanly, Peguero beat the throw to first for an infield hit. Charleston would then score once in the seventh on a throwing error by Hernandez at short.
The RiverDogs were limited to just a pair of infield singles in the defeat. Myrtle Beach received three hits and two RBI from Ballesteros and two hits from Chavers on a nine-hit display.
Halemanu suffered the loss in his first start as a professional, giving up three runs on three hits in 3.0 innings. Hartman was charged with three runs on three hits and two walks while recording two outs. Kikito Severino worked the final 2.1 innings on the bump, surrendering the final two runs.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the RiverDogs suited up as the Charleston Boiled Peanuts for the first time this season. An alternate identity created in 2018, the RiverDogs suit up several times each year as the Lowcountry’s favorite snack. During the game, fans were treated to a video showing players trying the treat for the first time.
The series resumes on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Jonny Cuevas (0-1, 3.27) will be first to the mound for the RiverDogs against RHP Grant Kipp (0-2, 5.06), who was the opening night starter for Myrtle Beach. $1 beers will be available throughout the ballpark on a Budweiser™ Thirsty Thursday with a “Boats and Joes” theme.
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