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Pabon’s Sacrifice Fly Caps off Wild Comeback, Pelicans Win 9-8 over Cannon Ballers in Extras

It’s the fifth walk-off win for Myrtle Beach this season
(Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
August 23, 2023

By Sam Weiderhaft Down to their final strike, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans were able to tie the game and later came back to win over the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers 9-8 in the first game of the week. Miguel Pabon hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to score Andy

By Sam Weiderhaft

Down to their final strike, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans were able to tie the game and later came back to win over the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers 9-8 in the first game of the week. Miguel Pabon hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to score Andy Garriola in the bottom of the 10th to take the win. Their fifth walk-off victory of the season moved the Birds to a 66-48 record and 27-22 in the second half. The Cannon Ballers dropped to 59-55 and 24-24 in the second half.

The Pelicans battled back from a deficit as big as five for their third comeback victory of the season when trailing by five or more. Pabon (0-5, RBI) finished the night on his sacrifice fly after not recording a hit in the five at-bats previous. Leonel Espinoza (1-4, 2B, 3 RBI, BB) brought home three on a double in the seventh and Brian Kalmer (1-4, 2 RBI, 2 BB) tied the game on a single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Rafael Morel (2-6, HR, 2 RBI) hit a solo home run and an RBI single to bring in the first two runs for Myrtle Beach.

Despite walking 11 batters as a pitching staff, the Pelicans still managed to take the victory as Starlyn Pichardo (6-1) took the win as the final pitcher for the Birds. Starter Koen Moreno allowed two earned runs in three innings after allowing three hits and two walks with two strikeouts.

Drake Logan (2-4, HR, 4 RBI, BB) accounted for half of the Cannon Baller’s runs on a two-run home run and a two-run single. Wilber Sanchez (2-5, 2B, 2 RBI) plated two on a double in the top of the sixth. Kannapolis stranded 15 and went 5-for-22 with runners in scoring position.

After giving up the walk-off, Ben Beutel (4-3) suffered the loss while pitching 2/3 of an inning and walking two. Billy Seidl blew the save and sacrificed three earned runs across 1 2/3 frames with four hits and three walks allowed. The Cannon Ballers walked 10 in the loss.

Kannapolis took the first lead in the opening frame as Jordan Sprinkle hit an infield single to third with runners on the corners to score Rikuu Nishida for a 1-0 advantage.

Morel answered back with his RBI single in the third that scored Brett Bateman from second.

Logan’s two-run homer with two outs in the top of the fourth gave the lead back to the Cannon Ballers 3-1. It was Logan’s four home run of the season.

With the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, Sanchez lined a double to left that brought home two as Kannapolis pushed their lead to 5-1.

The Pelicans got one back as Morel lifted a solo home run to left-center for his second home run in as many games to bring the Birds within three.

The back-and-forth scoring continued with the Cannon Ballers bringing two home in the top of the seventh. Logan lined a single to left with two outs and runners on second and third as both scored to bring the visitor’s lead up to five.

Myrtle Beach’s rally started in the seventh as they loaded the bases with nobody out. Following a strikeout, Espinoza lined a double that stayed fair down the left field line to clear the bases and bring the Kannapolis lead down to two at 7-5.

For the third straight inning, the Pelicans scored a run as Jonathon Long hit an RBI single to make it a one-run game.

In the top of the ninth, the Cannon Ballers plated an insurance run as Sanchez reached on a fielder’s choice courtesy of a wild throw by Rojas at short. Edrick Felix scored from second on the play to push the lead back up to 8-6.

Down to their final strike in the bottom of the ninth, the Pelicans tied the game. With runners on second and third, Kalmer looped a two-run single to shallow right as both runs scored to tie the game at eight.

The Cannon Ballers were held scoreless in the top of the 10th which gave way to Myrtle Beach to steal the game. With the bases loaded, Pabon hit a sacrifice fly to the middle of right field as Garriola barely beat the tag on the slide at home to give the Pelicans a walk-off win 9-8.

The Pelicans and Cannon Ballers will face-off again on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.