WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Myrtle Beach Pelicans plated four runs in the sixth inning en route to a 4-1 victory over the Dash in Game 1 of the best-of-three Southern Division Championship Series Wednesday night at BB&T Ballpark.
As a result, the Dash face elimination Thursday night in Game 2, which begins at 7:00 in Winston-Salem. The loss brought Winston's all-time record to an even 54-54 in Carolina League postseason play. Myrtle Beach improved to 4-1 against Winston-Salem in the playoffs.
Dash starter Erik Johnson (0-1) cruised through five innings and took a no-hit bid into the top of the sixth. With two outs and Winston-Salem leading by one, Odubel Herrera bounced an infield single to the left side to prolong the inning and give the Pelicans their first hit. Hanser Alberto followed with a triple to center to knot the score.
Following consecutive walks to load the bases, Johnson turned the threat over to righty Terance Marin, who surrendered a go-ahead three-run triple to Tomas Telis, a knock that capped a four-run frame and proved to be the difference in Game 1.
Winston-Salem's lone run came a half inning prior to the Pelicans' sixth-inning outburst. Courtney Hawkins led off the home half of the fifth with a towering home run beyond the boards in left. The 18-year-old is 6-for-21 with a pair of homers and three RBI in six High-A games.
However, starter Luke Jackson (1-0) and three Pelicans relievers kept the Dash off the board save Hawkins' bomb. Jackson needed 92 pitched to twirl five innings, but he scattered three hits and allowed the Dash's lone tally to earn a gritty win. Out of the bullpen, Phil Klein and Jimmy Reyes nailed down holds before Carolina League Reliever of the Year Ben Rowen dealt a perfect ninth for the save.
The Dash finished the regular season with the best record in full-season minor league baseball at 87-51-1, and the club did not suffer a sweep throughout the campaign.
Winston-Salem aims to keep its playoff journey going Thursday night at 7:00 in Game 2 of the Southern Division Championship at BB&T Ballpark. Winston-Salem sends southpaw Scott Snodgress (4-0, 1.50 ERA) to the hill against Myrtle righty Joe Van Meter (4-5 2.06 ERA). An extended "Pre-Game Dash" begins at 6:40 on wsdash.com.
For tickets to the rest of the SDCS at BB&T Ballpark this week, visit wsdash.com or call (336) 714-2287.