Both Eugene and Myrtle Beach won their respective games last night!
Over in Everett…
The Eugene Emeralds won 3-1 over the Everett Aqua Sox on the basis of three solo home runs by DJ Wilson, Yeiler Pegeuro, and Chris Pieters. Dylan Cease threw four shutout innings before he reached his pitch total at 82 pitches. Cease allowed 2 hits and walked two along the way. Every inning saw him go deep into counts. It was not his most efficient outing, but he did strike out six and did not allow a run.
In the fifth, Michael Rucker came in and pitched three wonderful, scoreless innings. He only allowed one baserunner on a walk and struck out one. When Andin Diaz came in for the eighth, things got a little hairy quick. Two hits and a walk loaded the bases with no one out. Dakota Mekkes came into the game to put out the fire. Mekkes struck out the first batter he faced and then appeared to have gotten an inning-ending double play. The runner was ruled safe after a consult between the umpires and the Aqua Sox had their first run. Mekkes got the next batter out to end the rally with the Emeralds up 3-1 heading into the ninth.
The Aqua Sox got another hit in the ninth but Mekkes got the next two batters to secure the victory and earn a save. The Emeralds play tonight at home at 9 central. 2016 fourth round pick Tyson Miller will start for the Emeralds as they look to clinch a title in game 2 of the three-game series.
Meanwhile in Myrtle Beach…
The faithful in Myrtle Beach got a surprise when they showed up for game two of the best of five series. Eloy Jimenez was called up to the Pelicans to replace Yasiel Balaguert who had been placed on the DL. Eloy went 1 for 3 with 2 walks and a RBI, but it was David Bote who was the star of the night going 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs including the game-tying RBI in a five-run fifth inning en route to an 8-3 victory. The series is now even against the Lynchburg Hillcats.
Jeremy Null got the start for the Pelicans. He had a rough first inning giving up three hits. Luckily, he was able to pitch his way out of it by only allowing one run. That seemed to be the theme of the night as Null gave up 7 hits in four innings and allowed 2 runs. James Norwood came in to relieve Null and Norwood struggled by giving up a run on two hits and a walk in his only inning of the night.
Entering the bottom of the fifth, the Pelicans were down 3-1. Charcer Burks got things going with a solo shot to make it 3-2. Donnie Dewees singled and scored later on a Bote double to tie the game. Eloy then drew a walk after being down 0-2. After a force out, three straight singles by Jeffrey Baez, Andrew Ely, and Erick Castillo made it 6-3 Pelicans.
The Pelicans would score two more in the eighth on a Bote single to put the game away. Daniel Lewis held the Hillcats scoreless in the sixth and seventh. Tommy Thorpe shut them down in the eighth and Ryan McNeil, as usual, was his exemplary self closing it out in the ninth to even the series at 1 game apiece.
The series now shifts to Lynchburg for the final 2 or 3 games. The Pelicans have Trevor Clifton going on Tuesday, Duane Underwood on Wednesday, and if necessary, Preston Morrison on Thursday. I like their chances.