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Myrtle Beach Pelicans win in walk-off again

Cody Johnson won't get credit for his 36th home run as a Pelican, which would have set a new franchise record.

But he does get credit for the game-winning double and RBI Wednesday night in Myrtle Beach's 3-2 win over the Salem Red Sox at BB&T Coastal Field.

Johnson's double to straightaway center field, which appeared on replays to hit well above the yellow line demarcating home runs from balls in play, scored Sammy Sime from first base and gave the Pelicans their second consecutive walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth inning against Salem.

It also gave the Pelicans (29-30 second half) a half-game lead over the Red Sox (26-28) in the race for the second half playoff berth from the Carolina League's Southern Division.

"That ball was out. I felt that off the bat," Johnson said. "As soon as it left the bat I thought it was gone. It would have been great, but it doesn't matter. Sammy came around to score and that puts us half a game up on them and we have to win the third game [today] and finish the sweep off."

Johnson's walk-off off a cut fastball by reliever Pat Ryan is the third in four games for the Pelicans dating back to Saturday at BB&T Coastal field.

"I knew the guy threw a lot of cutters," Johnson said. "He tried back-dooring one the first pitch, he threw me one way inside that I chased on the second, and he left one right out over the middle of the plate on that last pitch and I was right on it."

When the series began Tuesday, there was reason for Salem to be confident it could take command of the playoff race. The Pelicans entered the series a miserable 3-14 against the Red Sox this season, including 1-6 at BB&T Field. The team's earned-run average in the series was 2.50 runs higher than Salem's. But the Red Sox have suffered a pair of losses in Myrtle Beach's last at-bat.

"We've got a good group," said Johnson, who took a pie in the face in the clubhouse following the game. "Everybody gets along, everybody's having a good time, and that makes it so much easier. It's fun to play. Especially when you're playing tight games like this. Everybody's hearts' racing in the dugout, everybody wants to come up with a big hit. [Tuesday] night [Luis] Sumoza came up with two of them to tie and win the game. Tonight it was my turn and tomorrow it's probably going to be someone else."

The Southern Division playoff race is tight, as the Pelicans entered Wednesday just a half game ahead of Kinston, which took the first game of a double header at home against Frederick and was tied at 0 in the fifth inning of the second game at press time.

The Pelicans trailed 2-0 through six innings. They tied the game in the seventh inning when Mike Jones and Sime led off with a pair of line drive singles into right field off reliever Cesar Cabral after starter Michael Lee stymied the Pelicans for six innings, allowing just one hit and a walk while hitting a batter and striking out.

Jordan Kreke hit a one-out RBI double into the right-center gap and Sumoza had an RBI groundout to tie the game at 2.

Salem threatened in the top of the eighth when a pair of singles by Alex Hassan and Dan Butler left runners at first and third with one out. Hassan was held at third on a fly out to shallow center field by Ronald Bermudez so the Red Sox were unable to capitalize on a wild throw by L.V. Ware, and Jon Hee grounded out to end the inning, as second baseman Kreke gloved the ball while sliding to his left.

The Red Sox opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning, though the damage could have been greater against Pelicans starter Brett Oberholtzer.

Oberholtzer loaded the bases before a run scored on a single, but he struck out Oscar Tejeda, surrendered a sacrifice fly to Will Middlebrooks, and got Adalberto Ibarra to ground out.

SalemAB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Dent SS

4

0

1

0

1

1

.225

Dening RF

4

0

1

1

0

1

.279

Tejeda 2B

4

0

0

0

0

2

.306

Hassan LF

3

0

2

1

0

1

.279

Ibarra DH

4

0

1

0

0

1

.250

Butler C

2

0

0

0

2

1

.281

Hee 1B

4

0

1

0

0

0

.257

Hissey CF

1

1

0

0

0

0

.234

Bermudez, Ro CF

2

0

0

0

0

0

.194

Segovia 3B

4

1

1

0

0

1

.230

Totals32

2

7

2

3

8

M. BeachAB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Jones, My SS

3

0

0

0

0

2

.272

Ware CF

4

0

0

0

0

1

.260

Rodriguez, G LF

4

0

1

0

0

1

.247

Jones, Mi 1B

4

1

1

0

0

2

.285

Sime 3B

4

2

2

0

0

0

.259

Johnson, C DH

4

0

1

1

0

1

.260

Kreke, J 2B

2

0

1

1

1

0

.240

Sumoza RF

3

0

0

1

0

2

.228

Schlehuber C

3

0

0

0

0

0

.136

Totals32

3

6

3

1

9

Salem

000

020

000

--

2

7

1

Myrtle Beach

000

000

201

--

3

6

0

E --Tejeda (22, fielding). LOB--Salem 8, Myrtle Beach 5. 2B -- Dent (15, Oberholtzer), Hassan (26, Oberholtzer), Kreke, J (5, Cabral), Johnson, C (4, Ryan). CS --Rodriguez, G (5, 2nd base by Lee/Butler).

Salem

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Lee

6

1

0

0

1

6

4.09

Cabral (BS, 3)

2

3

2

2

0

2

4.12

Ryan (L, 1-1)

0.1

2

1

1

0

1

0.92

M. Beach

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

ERA

Oberholtzer

6

5

2

2

3

6

4.80

Palica

1.1

2

0

0

0

2

2.66

Avilan (W, 4-3)

1.2

0

0

0

0

0

3.32

WP--Oberholtzer. HBP --Jones, My (by Lee), Hissey (by Oberholtzer). Umpires--Home, Shaun Lampe; First, Gus Curtis. T--2:43. A--2,772.

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