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Carolina Mudcats stifled by Myrtle Beach Pelicans, lose 2-0

Carolina Mudcats stifled by Myrtle Beach Pelicans, lose 2-0
Photo credt: Tony Lastoria/IBI
May 31, 2014
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Carolina Mudcats failed to get a runner past second base and were ultimately shutout, 2-0, by the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Saturday night.

Myrtle Beach made a first-inning score and a Joey Gallo home run in the fourth inning hold against the anemic Mudcats.

Mytle Beach starter Andrew Faulkner (4-0, 2.28 ERA) earned the win by pitching 7.0 scoreless innings in which he held the Mudcats to two hits. The southpaw struck out seven Carolina batters and surrendered only one walk during his outing.

Abel De Los Santos earned the save after he recorded the final two outs in the top of the ninth.

Michael Peoples (2-6, 5.56 ERA) suffered his fourth straight loss despite producing a quality start against the hard-hitting Pelicans. The Mudcats’ right hander hurled 6.0 innings and allowed two earned runs off of four hits while fanning a career-high nine batters. 

Elvis Araujo relieved Peoples late and pitched a scoreless seventh inning and Louis Head threw a clean eighth inning for the Mudcats to keep the game close.

But a lack of run support doomed the Mudcats to their fifth straight loss to the Pelicans.

Carolina didn't record their first hit until the top of the sixth inning. James Roberts hit a leadoff single to right fielderNick Williams but was caught stealing during the following at bat.

The only other Mudcats hit came on a Todd Hankins single to lead off the top of the seventh. Three consecutive outs prevented Carolina from taking advantage of a rare opportunity to plate a run. 

The Pelicans used two doubles in the first inning to strike first on Saturday. Chris Garcia hit a leadoff double to right field and stole third base during the following at bat to start the inning. Myrtle Beach's Jorge Alfaro then scored Garcia with a double down the third base line to make it 1-0.

Carolina kept the damage to a minimum by throwing out Alfaro on a steal attempt at third base and by forcing the dangerous Joey Gallo into a fly out.

The Mudcats couldn't contain Gallo for long as he blasted a solo shot over the fence in right to extend the Myrtle Beach lead to 2-0.

Lefty Will Lamb started the ninth inning for the Pelicans but two straight walks threatened to set up a Mudcats rally. De Los Santos entered the game and forced an Erik Gonzalez strike out and an Anthony Gallas fly out to end the game and preserve the tight win.

The loss was the fourteenth since May 14 and it drops Carolina to 23-30 on the year. The Mudcats are thirteen games out of first in the Southern Division of the Carolina League.

Myrtle Beach improves to 36-17 and is 9.5 games ahead of second place Salem. 

Carolina is scheduled to square off with Myrtle Beach again on Sunday night at TicketReturn.com Field. Mudcats aceRyan Merritt is set to start and should battle with the Pelican's south paw Victor Payano.

Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.

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