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Pelicans rally to down Salem

Pelican catcher Zach Zaneski crushed a game-winning line drive to right field off Jeremiah Bayer in the bottom of the tenth, scoring Trevor Adair from the third, to culminate a 4-3 comeback victory over the Red Sox on Friday night at BB&T Coastal Field. The game-ending knock was extra sweet for Zaneski, who extended his hitting streak to 15 games despite going hitless in his previous four at-bats in the first nine innings. Salem held a 3-0 lead after six innings thanks to some early offense and a brilliant performance from Anthony Ranaudo, but the Pelicans connected on three consecutive doubles against Ranaudo to begin the bottom of the seventh, knocking the Sox righthander from the game and denying him, and Salem, a victory.

The Red Sox connected for three early tallies, but failed to score over the final seven innings of the ballgame. Salem plated a pair in the first thanks to Jorge Padron’s RBI single and Dan Butler’s sac fly. Two innings later, Padron’s second RBI single gave the Sox a 3-0 lead. Derrik Gibson recorded two infield hits, two steals, and scored two runs in the first three innings, but finished the night 2-5 at the top of the Red Sox lineup.

Ranaudo did not walk a batter and flashed excellent command of his fastball and secondary pitches during his first six frames, yielding just three singles over that stretch. In the last of the seventh, however, Santiago Chirino blasted a first-pitch double to left-center. That was immediately followed by consecutive RBI doubles from Jared Hoying and David Paisano, making the score 3-2 and chasing Ranaudo from the game after 81 pitches, including 58 strikes. Following an Andres James sac bunt that moved Paisano to third, Leury Garcia grounded into a 4-2-5 fielder’s choice, with the Red Sox retiring Paisano in a run-down. But with two outs, Jared Bolden singled home Garcia to tie the game at three.

Ranaudo’s final line included three earned runs on six hits over six-plus innings. He received a no-decision and the game was left to the bullpens.

Salem possessed a golden opportunity with two-on and one-out in the top of the ninth, but the Red Sox failed to capitalize against Pelicans reliever Zach Osborne. In the bottom the ninth, the Pelicans squandered a sensational chance too, lining into an inning-ending double-play with runners at first and third with one away.

In the first extra frame, Salem’s offense went in order, and Myrtle Beach left-fielder Travis Adair led off with a triple. After a walk to Jared Prince, Zaneski clobbered a 3-2 offering from Bayer into the right-center field gap to conclude the evening. In normal circumstances, Zaneski could have easily ran for extra bases, but in this case, his teammates mobbed him after he rounded first.

The game became testy for a brief stretch in the second inning, with the benches clearing in the secondary aftermath of Ranaudo hitting Paisano with a pitch. The plunking occurred on a 1-2 count with two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the second, and after Paisano was looked at by Pelicans trainer Jeff Bodenhamer, he began to charge at Ranaudo while walking to first. The two had been barking at each other and it seemed like a fracas could ensue, but players and coaches separated them and the emotions fizzled over the final innings, with nothing more coming from the minor skirmish.

The Red Sox hope to salvage the final game of the series in South Carolina on Saturday night by sending Chris Hernandez to the mound against Barrett Loux. First pitch by the Beach is set for 7:05, and Salem travels home after the game for a Sunday afternoon matinee against Frederick, scheduled to begin at 4:05 at LewisGale Field.

augusta free press
augusta free press