One starting pitcher was masterful, the other methodical, but in the end neither was a factor as Frederick topped Myrtle Beach 1-0 in 10 innings on Saturday night at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
The Keys’ Branden Kline struck out 11 over seven innings while allowing five hits with no walks, and the Pelicans’ Luis Parra scattered three hits over eight scoreless innings with three strikeouts and a pair of walks.
The game’s only run came in the top of the 10th inning, starting when Jason Esposito was walked by Pelicans reliever Jose Leclerc. Carolina League Player of the Week Adrian Marin lined his 12th double of the season to center field and moved Esposito to third before Esposito scored on a sacrifice fly by Pedro Perez.
It was the second straight shutout loss for Myrtle Beach (40-20), which lost to Frederick 6-0 on Friday, but it did little to temper the enthusiasm of the Pelicans, who remained on the field afterward to celebrate winning the Carolina League’s Southern Division first half title and the guaranteed playoff spot that goes with it.
Leclerc (3-1) took the loss for the first time this season despite striking out three in two solid innings with one hit.
Givens (1-1) took the win with two scoreless innings of work with three strikeouts and a hit and Matt Price (2) got the save, striking out three of the four batters he faced.
Both sides had other chances to score, but couldn’t muster hits when it mattered. Myrtle Beach was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, leaving four baserunners at second or third, while Frederick (27-33) left six runners on base.
Myrtle Beach batters struck out 17 times in the game.
Preston Beck led off the bottom of the second with a single for the Pelicans. One out later, David Lyon’s single to right moved Beck to third, but he was stranded there when Alberto Truinfel was struck out by Kline.
Parra didn’t allow a hit until Michael Burgess singled in the top of the fourth.
Beck led off the bottom of the fourth with a single up the middle, then went to second when Branden Kline was called for a balk on a hesitant pick-off move toward first, but Beck was stranded there after Christopher Bostick struck out and David Lyon flied out to right.
Jerome Pena picked up Frederick’s second hit, a two-out single in the top of the fifth, then went to third when Pedro hit a line drive to center, but the opportunity came up short when Glynn Davis grounded out to short.
Truinfel picked up his first hit with Myrtle Beach after being called up from low-A Spokane earlier in the week, a one-out single in the bottom of fifth.
Chris Garia led off the bottom of the sixth with a single that was in the glove of diving Keys shortstop Sammie Starr but dropped out when Starr hit the turf. Luis Mendez was then hit by a Kline pitch, but was thrown out at second when he and Garcia both tried to advance on a wild pitch. Garia reached third safely, but the inning ended on a Beck ground out.
Kline gave way to Mychal Givens, a converted former infielder, in the eighth, and Givens immediately gave up an infield single to Truinfel, who then stole second. Kevin Torres’ bunt couldn’t advance Truinfel and Torres was thrown out a first. Garia struck out for the second out of the inning and Luis Mendez grounded out to second as the Pelicans stranded a runner in scoring position for the fourth time in the game.
The series continues Sunday at 6:05 p.m. Sam Wolff (5-3, 3.05 ERA) is slated to make the start for Myrtle Beach. He will face off against fellow right-hander Brady Wagner (2-4, 5.62).
• Notes | Pelicans third baseman Joey Gallo was named Carolina League Player of the Month for May. He hit 12 home runs while batting .326. … Myrtle Beach placed outfielder Nick Williams on the seven-day disabled list.