FREDERICK, Md. – Thanks to a three-run Keys eighth inning Tuesday, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans suffered a late 5-2 loss – their ninth defeat in the last 10 games – to Frederick at Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium.
The score was tied at two when Myrtle Beach (56-52, 13-25) reliever Dakota Mekkes (2-1) yielded a double to Glynn Davis. The Pelicans elected to intentionally walk Chris Clare, but pinch-hitter Ademar Rifaeala deposited a single down the line in shallow left to give Frederick (50-56, 19-18) the 3-2 lead. Armando Araiza followed with a two-run double to widen the margin to 5-2.
The three earned runs plated against Mekkes were more than he had allowed all year in a combined 55.1 innings coming in between Low-A South Bend and Myrtle Beach. He had not ceded a tally with the Pelicans all season until tonight.
Tanner Chleborad (1-3) pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, including a shutout ninth, to earn the win for Frederick.
The Birds opened up the scoring in their first at-bats. Connor Myers and Vimael Machin began the contest with singles. Two batters later, Jesse Hodges lined them in with a base hit to give the Pelicans an early 2-0 lead.
The score remained that way until the fifth. Araiza singled to leadoff the frame but was replaced on first after a Drew Turbin fielder’s choice groundout. Jay Gonzalez doubled to put two men in scoring position and Ryan Flaherty walked to load the bases. Randolph Gassaway then lined in two runs with a single to knot the score at two.
Myrtle Beach vies to salvage the series in Wednesday’s noon contest with RHP Mike Rucker (3-2, 2.08 ERA) on the mound. Coverage begins at 11:45 a.m. on MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Broadcast, the MiLB First Pitch app and TuneIn.
The 2017 season is the 19th season for the Pelicans franchise and third as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. For information on tickets to see the Pelicans in 2017, please call (843) 918-6000, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.