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Despite struggles, Pelicans sticking together

On School Kids Day, the Pelicans decided to have a little fun.

A few players signed some extra autographs; Gerardo Avila and Matt Kennelly did some funky jump-up-and-down dance; others rapped in the clubhouse.

A win for a struggling Myrtle Beach team apparently did the trick.

The Pelicans beat Lynchburg 2-1 Wednesday afternoon after pitchers Julio Teharan, Paul Clemens and Benino Pruneda combined for another big-time performance.

But the telling sign that this team isn't falling apart may have come in the top of the sixth.

Center fielder Cole Miles was injured during a collision with shortstop Samuel Sime off a short pop fly. Within seconds, every Pelicans position player, manager Rocket Wheeler and the training staff were at Miles' side. He was eventually helped off the field with a shoulder/back injury after what was a heartfelt show of support.

"People might think because we're losing we'd separate or something like that," Avila said. "But we've got a lot of good chemistry. That's why we went [out to check on Miles]. Miles is one of the guys who is always happy around the clubhouse. He's one of the best friends here."

That group effort is a bit of an enigma. Not only are the Pelicans (14-32) in last place in the Carolina League, they are also a squad that has basically been rebuilt since April.

Myrtle Beach has made nearly 50 roster moves this year, including four pitchers switching spots over the weekend and last week's discovery that three Pelicans - Gerry Rodriguez, Amadeo Zazueta and Yoel Campusano - tested positive for Amphetamines.

"We've always been a team all year," Wheeler said. "These guys have busted their butts all year. We have a losing record. But still, these guys have played hard. I've got no complaints about it.

"It's a unit out there."

Teheran, the top pitching prospect in the Braves organization, allowed just one earned run his first time out, a seven-inning performance (no decision) against Winston-Salem on May 19.

This time out, he was even more impressive.

In six shutout innings, he allowed just four hits, one runner to advance past second base and kept the Hillcats' offense relatively subdued. His two-game Pelicans ERA sits at 0.69.

Clemens and Pruneda then made the effort stick.

"We've had good pitching," Wheeler said. "We've just got to get them squared away and get some runs for them. [Wednesday] we got some runs for them. Hopefully, we get on a roll - it's contagious."

Those runs came via a Dan Nelson first-inning home run and a Calvin Culver RBI in the fifth. It was all the pitching staff needed to earn the team's second home win in the month of May.

And it was more than enough to for the team's spirits to pick up dramatically.

"Any opportunity or any win that we get at home is better for us," Avila said. "We've been having a little trouble the whole season, but it's still early."

Lynchburg.AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Fellhauer LF

4

0

1

0

0

0

.296

Gualdron 2B

4

1

2

0

0

0

.313

Soto 1B

3

0

0

0

1

0

.274

Mesoraco DH

4

0

1

0

0

0

.325

Buchholz 3B

3

0

2

0

1

0

.288

Day RF

4

0

0

0

0

1

.233

Contreras, E CF

4

0

0

0

0

2

.188

Rojas SS

4

0

0

0

0

0

.216

Wideman C

3

0

1

0

0

0

.167

Puckett a- PH

1

0

0

0

0

1

.277

Totals34

1

7

0

2

4

M. BeachAB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Miles CF

3

0

1

0

0

2

.254

Barba SS

1

0

0

0

0

0

.162

Nelson 3B-LF

4

1

1

1

0

1

.235

Avila 1B

3

0

0

0

0

0

.246

Jones, T 2B

2

0

0

0

0

2

.000

Sime SS-3B

3

0

0

0

0

1

.310

Jones, M DH

3

0

1

0

0

0

.214

Sumoza RF

3

1

2

0

0

0

.206

Kennelly, M C

2

0

0

0

0

1

.215

Culver LF-CF

3

0

2

1

0

0

.264

Totals27

2

7

2

0

7

Lynchburg

000

000

010

--

1

7

1

M. Beach

100

010

000

--

2

7

1

E--Wideman (1). DP-Hillcats 1. 2B-Gualdron 2 (9), Mesoraco (10), Buchholz (13), Sumoza (1). HR-Nelson (3). S-Kennelly. SB-Gualdron (1). CS-Miles (6).

Potomac

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Serrano (L, 2-2)

7

7

2

2

0

7

3.24

Jeffords

1

0

0

0

0

0

5.17

M. Beach

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Teheran (W, 1-0)

6

4

0

0

2

2

0.69

Clemens (H, 1)

1.2

3

1

1

0

0

5.40

Pruneda (S, 3)

1.1

0

0

0

0

2

3.47

Umpires--Home, Tyler Wilson; First, Joey Amaral. T--2:15. A--2,735.

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