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Hoover sharp as Myrtle Beach Pelicans thump Blue Rocks

J.J. Hoover couldn't buy a break.

After allowing eight runs on 11 hits back on May 2 against Frederick, the big righty made a few adjustments. They immediately showed, as he gave up a combined six runs in his next four outings.

All that work equated to just one win, though, as the Pelicans' offense and bullpen didn't offer much support. In total, Myrtle Beach was just 1-8 in games Hoover started.

That wasn't the case Saturday.

Hoover had another stellar showing, throwing eight shutout innings while striking out seven and walking none. This time, the offense continued to make strides and the bullpen closed it out, helping Myrtle Beach to a 9-1 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks at BB&T Coastal Field.

"It calms you down," said Hoover, speaking of his run support. "You just focus on getting the hitters out. It's always an easier time when you got your hitters and your defense behind you.

"It's just a struggle," Hoover said. "It's just the kind of season we're having. We're putting together good outings as a staff, and our hitters are starting to come alive now. I think we're turning the corner."

Hoover was spotting pitches well, even in the later innings. He didn't allow a base runner in the seventh or eighth innings, striking out three in that time.

Despite his desire to pitch the ninth inning, his pitch count had already surpassed the century mark. That left Chad Rodgers to finish it out. After giving up one run, he retired the final two batters to close out the victory.

"Like I told him, if it was later on in the year or a championship game, it might be a different story," manager Rocket Wheeler said. "He smiled at me and said 'Yeah, I know.' He did his job."

It didn't take anything away from what was one of the Pelicans' best all-around showings this year.

Shortstop Samuel Sime's two-run homer in the fourth inning gave Hoover some breathing room. And then a three-run sixth blew the game open for Myrtle Beach (15-34) and Hoover. That frame included a two-run single from Travis Jones.

Included in the scoring fold was center fielder L.V. Ware. He scored his fourth run in three games since being called up from Low-A Rome on Wednesday.

It was the most run support Hoover has received from the offense this year, as he was getting just 1.67 runs per game prior to Saturday. And the Wilmington (22-27) hitters could do virtually nothing against him.

That in part has something to do with, Hoover admitted, some adjustments to his hand placement while he's set on the mound and staying in line with home plate.

"It's added some deception back to my game," he said. "It's what I did in Rome. It's good to be back."

Wilmington.AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Ortiz, A LF

4

0

0

0

0

4

.265

Norris, P CF

4

1

2

0

0

0

.226

Hosmer 1B

3

0

1

0

0

0

.359

Rivera, J PH

0

0

0

0

1

0

.121

Romak DH

4

0

1

0

0

1

.233

Taylor, J 3B

4

0

0

0

0

1

.186

Perez, Sa C

4

0

0

1

0

1

.291

Francis, N RF

4

0

0

0

0

0

.000

Navarro SS

3

0

0

0

0

1

.207

Garcia, F 2B

3

0

2

0

0

0

.211

Totals33

1

6

1

1

8

Myrtle BeachAB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Miles LF

4

1

1

0

1

1

.262

Nelson 3B

4

3

1

0

1

0

.253

Jones, T 2B

5

0

2

3

0

0

.278

Jones, M 1B

4

1

0

1

1

0

.222

Culver RF

5

0

1

0

0

0

.260

Sucre C

5

1

2

0

0

1

.211

Sime SS

4

1

1

2

1

1

.290

Kennelly, M DH

3

1

2

0

2

0

.220

Ware CF

4

1

0

0

1

2

.200

Totals39

9

10

6

7

5

Wilmington

000

000

001

--

1

5

0

M. Beach

100

203

03x

--

9

10

1

E--Navarro 3 (8), Taylor, J 2 (6); Sime (3). LOB--Wilmington 6, Myrtle Beach 12. 2B --Jones, T (1), Nelson (5). HR-Sime (1). CS --Garcia, F (3).

Wilmington

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Dwyer (L, 2-3)

5.1

6

4

4

2

4

4.03

Thompson, J

1.2

1

2

2

3

1

7.56

Basurto

0.2

3

3

2

2

0

5.87

Mozingo

0.1

0

0

0

0

0

7.36

Myrtle Beach

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Hoover W 2-3

8

5

0

0

0

7

3.58

Rodgers

1

1

1

0

1

1

4.50

Balk--Thompson, J. Umpires --Home, Matt Cumbee; First, Jay Pierce. T--2:46. A--3,057.

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