For the second night in a row, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans hung on to beat the Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox), 4-3. With the win, the Pelicans win the Carolina League Divisional Series two games to one and advance to the Mills Cup Championship Series.
Jonathan Martinez started game three for the Pelicans and he really made just one mistake, a two-run home run Adam Engel in the third inning that just cleared the fence down the left field line. The final line on Martinez was six innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Martinez struck out three and didn't walk anyone.
David Garner took over for Martinez in the seventh inning with the Pelicans ahead 3-2. He retired the first six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings and started the ninth inning with a two-run lead since the Pelicans tacked on an insurance run in the seventh.
Garner got the first batter to hit a easy tapper back to the mound for the first out and his seventh straight batter retired. The next batter. Jake Peter, hit a routine ground ball to short and for the second night in a row, shortstop Gleyber Torres made an error. With a runner now on first and one out, Dash third baseman Trey Michalczewski hit a fly ball down the left field line that bounced into the stands for a double that put runners on second and third.
With the tying run on second with one out, Garner got a ground ball to short and this time Torres played it cleanly. A runner scored, but now there were two outs and the tying run on third. Garner then got Dash left fielder Nick Basto to hit yet another ground ball to short. Torres played it cleanly again, threw to first and the Pelicans won the series.
Garner got the save with a final line of three innings pitched, allowing one unearned run on one hit. He struck out four and walked no one.
The Pelicans took a three-run lead in the first inning that they would never relinquish when catcher Victor Caratini came to the plate with the bases loaded and he lined the ball into the right field corner for a three-run double. Caratini was 1 for 3 with a walk tonight.
The Pelicans run in the seventh inning came when Torres singled with one out. After Daniel Lockhart lined out for the second out of the inning, Torres stole second and scored on an RBI single by DH Chesny Young.
Torres was 1 for 3. Young was 2 for 4.
Jorge Soler played six innings in right field in a rehab appearance. He was 1 for 2 with a walk. He doubled and scored in the first inning.
And we have highlights.
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The Pelicans now travel to Wilmington to play the Blue Rocks in game one of the best-of-five Mills Cup Championship Series on Sunday Night
And in all this excitement, I almost forgot. Congratulations to Smokies catcher Willson Contreras, your choice for the Cubs Minor League Player of the Year! Contreras has made a couple of minor league post-season all-star teams already this season and I don't think this is the last time he's going to be honored.
You still have time to vote for the Minor League Pitcher of the Year. I'll announce the winner of that Sunday night during the recap of game one of the Pelicans series with the Blue Rocks.