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Hoover hurls gem to propel Myrtle Beach Pelicans past Kinston Indians

Myrtle Beach Pelicans pitcher J.J. Hoover may want to change his initials after Wednesday night's performance. He had a lot more Ks than Js.

But Hoover was more concerned about another letter - finally getting his first W.

Hoover struck out seven batters and allowed only one hit over six innings to earn his first win of the season, a 4-3 victory over the Kinston Indians.

Hoover retired 11 consecutive batters before exiting with a 4-0 lead and the Pelicans' bullpen made it stand up, but not without some late drama.

The Indians scored two runs in the ninth and had two runners on base when closer Angelo Paulino induced a groundout to end the game.

"That was a much-needed outing for me and for the team," said Hoover, who improved his record to 1-2 on the season. "It's good to get my first win but I'm happier for the team to get a win. We've been struggling a lot lately so we really needed this one."

Hoover got just enough offensive support from Calvin Culver, who went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs, and Jesus Sucre, who added a two-run home run.

Hoover struck out five of the first six batters he faced through two innings and Culver's double drove in Matt Kennelly in the bottom of the frame for a 1-0 lead that held up as the winning run. Hoover gave up his only hit of the game in the third, but went on to retire the next 11 batters he faced.

Despite his strong start, Hoover had good reason to be nervous while clinging to a one-run lead. He has experienced some heartache and bad breaks in his winless first month of the season, throwing well in his three no-decisions (four earned runs in 14 innings) without getting a victory.

His two losses have been even more disappointing, one coming the day after a 15-inning marathon in which the Pelicans' bullpen was depleted. Hoover allowed only one hit through five innings but was forced to stay on the mound longer than usual and got knocked around for the defeat.

But the Pelicans made sure this one didn't slip away, with Culver driving in Kennelly again in the sixth and Sucre following it up with a homer.

Hoover still had to sweat it out after being relieved by Paul Clemens in the seventh. Making his debut for the Pelicans, Clemens walked four batters and was bailed out by a double play. He was replaced by Van Pope, who got out of a bases-loaded jam with a harmless pop fly to right.

Pope avoided disaster again in the eighth when the Indians hit two shots deep to the warning track in right field. Paulino also dodged a bullet after allowing the Indians to score two runs and move the tying run into scoring position, but it wasn't enough to erase the big night by Hoover.

Kinston.AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Henry, J CF

4

0

1

1

1

1

.283

Pena, Ro RF

5

0

0

0

0

1

.148

Kipnis 2B

3

0

1

0

1

0

.324

Pickens C

4

0

0

0

0

1

.240

Sanchez, Ka DH

3

1

0

0

1

1

.268

Recknagel 1B

3

0

0

0

1

3

.242

Bellows 3B

3

1

1

0

1

1

.232

Rivas, R SS

3

1

1

0

1

0

.250

Montero, L LF

3

0

1

1

1

0

.165

Totals31

3

5

2

7

8

Myrtle BeachAB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Miles CF

3

0

2

0

1

0

.247

Sime 3B

3

0

1

0

0

0

.343

Avila 1B

4

0

0

0

0

1

.302

Rodriguez, G LF

3

0

0

0

0

1

.244

Kennelly, M C

1

2

0

0

3

0

.250

Culver RF

3

1

2

2

0

0

.283

Sucre DH

4

1

2

2

0

0

.223

Campusano 2B

4

0

0

0

0

1

.194

Zazueta SS

3

0

0

0

0

0

.180

Totals28

4

7

4

4

3

Kinston

000

000

102

--

3

5

1

Myrtle Beach

010

003

00X

--

4

7

1

E--E: Pickens (5, catcher interference), Avila (5, missed catch). LOB--Kinston 8, Myrtle Beach 7 2B--Culver (2, White). SB--- Henry, J (6, 2nd base off Pope/Kennelly, M), Miles 2 (9, 2nd base off White/Pickens, 2nd base off White/Pickens). HR--Sucre (3, 6th inning off White, 1 on, 2 out),

Kinston

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

White (L, 1-3)

6

4

4

3

3

3

3.08

Turek

2

3

0

0

1

0

4.64

Myrtle Beach

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Hoover (W, 1-2)

6

1

0

0

1

7

5.24

Clemens

0.2

0

1

1

4

0

13.5

Pope (H, 1)

1.1

0

0

0

2

0

7.20

Paulino (S, 1)

1

4

2

2

0

1

2.11

WP--White, Clemens, Pope. Umpires--Home, Shaylor Smith, 1B: Jacob Danielsen. T-2:46.. Att:2,200.

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