MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Jesse Hodges homered and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans erupted in the first two innings of Wednesday's contest, coasting past the Wilmington Blue Rocks 7-3 at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
Already ahead 2-0, the Pelicans' (11-9) offense took control of the game in the second inning. Hodges led off the inning with a solo home run to left field, extending the advantage to 3-0. Robert Garcia then walked against Wilmington (7-12) starter A.J. Puckett (2-2) before Carlos Sepulveda reached base after the second error of the inning. A Bryant Flete single into right field scored Garcia. With runners at the corners, Trent Giambrone continued the rally for Myrtle Beach with an RBI single into right field to bring in Sepulveda. Eddy Martinez would follow Giambrone with a base hit to center field to load the bases. One more run would score for the Pelicans in the inning, as Myrtle Beach posted a four-spot to go up 6-0.
The Blue Rocks would rally back in their half of the third inning. Roman Collins began the inning with a line drive single into right field. With one out and Collins at first, Cody Jones singled to left field to put runners on first and second.Nicky Lopez doubled to right to score Collins and get Wilmington on the board. Following a strike out, Elier Hernandez singled to left, scoring both Jones and Lopez and cutting the score to 6-3 in favor of Myrtle Beach.
The Pelicans would tack on one final run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Giambrone singled with one out in the inning and then advanced to third following a base hit by Martinez. With runners on the corners and one man out, Spingola drilled a first-pitch fastball into deep left field to score Giambrone on a sacrifice fly. That extended the Birds' lead to 7-3.
Ryan Kellogg (1-0) made his season debut on the mound for the Pelicans, tossing five innings and surrendering three runs on four hits to earn his first win of the season. Casey Bloomquist was fantastic out of the bullpen, firing four shutout innings with four strikeouts to pick up his first save of the season in Myrtle Beach's third straight win, and fifth in the past six contests.
The Birds kicked off the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Sepulveda started the inning with a walk. Flete followed Sepulveda by driving a base hit back up the middle to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Two batters later, Martinez would drive in Sepulveda with an RBI ground out, putting the Birds on the board. Tyler Alamo then drove in Flete with an infield single to make it 2-0.
The Pelicans will bid for a sweep of the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. in the finale of their three-game set. RHP Adbert Alzolay (1-0, 3.26 ERA) goes for the Birds against Blue Rocks LHP Cristian Castillo (0-1, 3.45 ERA). Thursday's game is a Thirsty Thursday, featuring $1.00 12oz. Bud & Bud Light draughts and $2.00 16oz cans from 6-8 p.m.