Myrtle Beach Pelicans clinch playoff berth … Cubs High-A affiliate Myrtle Beach versus Red Sox in Southern Division Championship Series
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans will have an opportunity to defend the team’s Carolina League Championship. High-A Myrtle Beach clinched a berth in the 2016 Carolina League Playoffs thanks to the Pelicans’ 2-1 victory over Carolina at Five County Stadium and Winston-Salem’s 2-0 loss to Frederick at NYMEO Field at Harry Grove Stadium on Wednesday night.
This marks the franchise’s sixth consecutive postseason appearance, the longest active streak in the Carolina League, and second straight postseason appearance as the High-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Myrtle Beach will look to defend their 2015 Mills Cup Championship this September.
The Pelicans have locked up a playoff berth via the wild card procedure in the Carolina League. Because Salem won the first-half Southern Division title, Myrtle Beach needed to finish with a better second-half mark than Carolina and Winston-Salem.
Myrtle Beach will continue their pursuit of the second-half division championship, which would give the Pelicans a home game in the Southern Division Championship Series. The Pelicans are currently 1.0 game ahead of Salem in the second half division race.
The Southern Division Championship Series, which will see the Pelicans battle the Salem Red Sox, is a best-of-three series that will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The Mills Cup Finals is a best-of-five set that is scheduled to run from Sept. 11-16.
Andrew Ely hit a go-ahead double in the 10th inning helped the Myrtle Beach Pelicans clinch their sixth consecutive postseason berth by beating the Carolina Mudcats 2-1 Wednesday at Five County Stadium.
Myrtle Beach’s (73-55, 37-21) run is currently the longest active streak in the Carolina League.
With the score tied at one in the top of the 10th, David Bote singled up the middle before Ian Rice walked two batters later. After Jeffrey Baez popped out, Ely came through with two outs to give the Pelicans the lead.
Leading by one in the bottom of the 10th, Tanner Murphy singled for Carolina (45-83, 16-42) before Braxton Davidson walked to push him to second. After a sacrifice bunt, the Mudcats had runners at second and third with one out. Pelicans’ reliever Daniel Lewis (4-0) issued a wild pitch to the backstop, on which catcher Tyler Pearson fielded the carom and threw out the potential tying run at the plate. Lewis then got Jordan Edgerton to fly out to center to seal the win.
With the score 0-0 in the top of the fourth, Myrtle Beach left fielder Charcer Burks drew a walk against Mudcats starter Wes Parsons. After Burks advanced to second on a wild pitch, Bote singled to right to score Burks and give the Pelicans a 1-0 lead.
With Myrtle Beach still leading 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Luis Valenzuela singled with one out before Keith Curcio drew a walk to push Valenzuela to second. Travis Demeritte followed by lining a single into left to score Valenzuela and tie the game at one.
That would be all that Pelicans starter Preston Morrison would allow. The right-hander surrendered just one run over five innings, striking out five in the process.
The Pelicans will go for the sweep of Carolina Thursday night. RHP Jonathan Martinez (11-6, 4.10 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) takes the ball for Myrtle Beach.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans join the Low-A South Bend Cubs, Short-Season Eugene Emeralds and the AZL Cubs as the four Cubs’ minor league affiliates that will participate in postseason baseball.