The Myrtle Beach Pelicans got a big performance out of starter Tyler Skulina on Friday.
However, the club struggled to back him up at the plate.
Skulina struck out seven in seven scoreless innings but the Pelicans gathered just two hits on the night as Lynchburg edged Myrtle Beach 1-0 at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in the series opener.
“It’s the second time I’ve pitched against this team and I got a lot of them out with sliders. But this one of the best lineups in the league, overall,” said Skulina, who received a no-decision. “I just have to stay aggressive, throw pitches around the zone and let them get themselves out.”
Bradley Zimmer hit a game-winning RBI triple in the ninth inning for the Hillcats.
Pelicans infielder Chesny Young had a single in the first inning and Myrtle Beach’s only other hit came when Trey Martin singled in the fifth. The Pelicans were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base.
“That happens,” Skulina said of the struggles. “We got back pretty late this morning from our road trip. Guys are tired and that’s part of the grind of minor league baseball. You never know, guys could’ve had 14 hits today and seven runs or 10 runs; you just never know. You’ve got to go out there and compete and give your team a chance to win every game.”
Meanwhile, Lynchburg reliever Casey Weathers (1-1) tossed to just one batter and picked up the win. He struck out the only batter he faced to end the eighth inning.
Hillcats starter Michael Peoples received a no-decision as he allowed two hits and two walks and also struck out four in five innings of work.
The Pelicans will look to bounce back on Saturday as Myrtle Beach hosts Lynchburg at 7:05 p.m.
“I’m very confident in them. I played with most of these guys last year and sometimes it just happens when you get into a team slump like this,” Skulina said. “We always bounce back and we always have each other’s backs, no matter what. So I have a lot of confidence in these guys the next couple of days.”
Contact MAX McKINNON at 626-0302 or on Twitter @mmckinnonTSN.