Potomac Nationals survive Birds' late rally



MYRTLE BEACH, SC JUNE 25, 2014 – The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers, dropped a 7-4 decision to the Potomac Nationals on Wednesday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. Jorge Alfaro strung together two of the five hits for the Pelicans on the night. Alfaro’s first inning homer was one of two extra-base hits on the night against the Nationals pitching staff.

Pelicans catcher Jorge Alfaro slugged his ninth home run and singled in the series opener on Wednesday. (Robert Gurganus / Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

Pelicans catcher Jorge Alfaro slugged his ninth home run and singled in the series opener on Wednesday. (Robert Gurganus / Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

The Pelicans (4-3, 48-27) started the contest with an Alfaro solo home run to left field. The home run was the first time Myrtle Beach had a leadoff home run in the first inning of a game this season. The Pelicans took a 1-0 lead.


Justin Miller and Estarlin Martinez led off the third inning with a double and single off of Pelicans starter Sam Wolff. The hits put two Nationals (5-1, 43-22) in scoring position for Tony Renda. Wolff then threw a wild pitch allowing Miller to score from third base. Renda then reached on an error by first baseman Kevin Torres, and Martinez scored on the play. The Nationals took the lead 2-1.


In the top of the sixth, Potomac took advantage with runners in scoring position. Wolff faced Mike McQuillan, who connected on his first home run of the season, scoring Stephen Perez and Randolph Oduber on the play. Potomac led 5-1.


The Pelicans and Nationals traded runs in the seventh.


Myrtle Beach cut the deficit to two in the eighth inning. Hanser Alberto doubled to left field, which put runners on second and third. Potomac brought on Richie Mirowski with the bases loaded and one out. Mirowski balked Alfaro home from third base. The Birds added one more run when Mirowski threw a wild pitch past Nick Williams, trimming the lead to 6-4.


The Nationals added on an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning.


Gilberto Mendez worked a perfect ninth inning, retiring the Pelicans in order to collect his fifth save of the season.


The Nationals took game one of the three-game series 7-4.


Blake Schwartz (1-0) earned the win, striking out two and allowing two hits over five innings. Wolff (7-4) lost the contest in a six-inning outing.


The Pelicans look to tie the series against the Nationals when they play on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. Myrtle Beach sends Andrew Faulkner (4-1, 2.69 ERA) to the hill. Matthew Spann (5-1, 3.40) takes the rubber for the Nationals. The game can be heard live on WRNN AM 1450 ESPN Myrtle Beach, on the TuneIn Radio App, and via the MiLB First Pitch App, beginning with the Hampton Inn Pregame Show at 6:45 p.m.


Thursday is Western Night as well as Thirsty Thursday presented by Celebrations Nightlife, 96.1 WKZQ, The Weekly Surge, and WBTW News Channel 13, featuring $1 Bud and Bud Light draft beers from 6:00-8:00 p.m.


Season Seats, Mini Plans, Flex Books, and single game tickets are available to see the Pelicans in 2014. For more information on tickets, please call (843) 918-6002, e-mail info@myrtlebeachpelicans.com, visit www.MyrtleBeachPelicans.com, or visit the Pelicans box office, which is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

About the Pelicans                                                    

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers and play their home games at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The park was named the best in the Carolina League by Baseball America in 2009 and the overall experience ranked third in all of Minor League Baseball by Stadium Journey in 2013. The Pelicans earned co-Mills Cup championship honors in their inaugural 1999 season, won the outright title in 2000, and has garnered seven half-season Southern Division titles, most recently in the first half of 2013. For more information on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, please contact Nathan Barnett by calling (843) 918-6080 or emailing NBarnett@MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.