Results tagged ‘ Myrtle Beach ’
Winston-Salem battled Myrtle Beach in a tremendous Southern Division Championship Series last September. How do the Pelicans stack up this season?
CAROLINA COUNTDOWN: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Introduction: Members of the Carolina League since their inception in 1999, the Pelicans were originally affiliated with the Braves before joining forces with the Rangers in 2011. Playing in the vacation hot spot of Myrtle Beach, S.C., the Pelicans’ home games are at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, one of the more unique settings in the minors.
Last season: The Pelicans finished 2012 with the second-best overall record on the circuit, and they qualified for the playoffs as a wild card due to that 74-65 mark. Myrtle Beach fell two games to one in the best-of-three series, making it the second year in a row that the Pelicans have lost in the first round of the Carolina League playoffs.
Manager: Jason Wood will be back for Myrtle Beach this year after posting a 146-132 in his first two years. Wood carries an honor that not many can claim; he was drafted three times. The Toronto Blue Jays originally selected him in the 1988 draft. After deciding not to sign with Toronto, he was then drafted again in 1990 by the Atlanta Braves. The Oakland Athletics drafted him in 1991, and Wood finally began his professional career. Wood made his major league debut for Oakland, eventually also playing for Detroit and Florida before retiring after the 2008 season to begin his career in coaching.
System: The Texas Rangers have boasted one of the best farm systems in all of baseball over the last few years. According to Baseball America, the Rangers boast a top three system and a top three overall prospect in infielder Jurickson Profar, who skipped the Carolina League last year en route to a September call-up to the big leagues. Texas’ front office frequently challenges its talent to climb through the ranks at a young age, so the Pelicans are likely to have one of, if not the, youngest rosters on the circuit this season.
Best promotion: In honor of Jurassic Park being released in 3D this year, the Pelicans will be hosting a Jurassic Park Night for their home opener on April 5. Throughout the night, the Pelicans will be commemorating some of the best moments from the 1993 film. Being a fan of dinosaurs growing up, I always enjoyed watching this movie whenever it came on television throughout my childhood.
Fun fact: Back in August 2000, a very unusual event happened at Pelicans Ballpark (then called Coastal Federal Field). A car veered off 21st Avenue North, which runs behind the ballpark, and crashed through the left field wall. Fortunately, no one was injured.
Travel to Myrtle Beach: About 220 miles southeast of Winston-Salem, Myrtle Beach is about four hours from BB&T Ballpark. Not surprisingly, it is most players’ favorite road destination in the CL.
Pelicans in Winston-Salem: The Pelicans’ first invasion of BB&T Ballpark will be a three-game set from May 14-16. They will then be back in town for the Fourth of July, beginning a four-game series on Independence Day here, before wrapping up the season series August 24-26 in Winston.
Tomorrow: What do sharks have to do with the Potomac Nationals? Check back tomorrow to find out!
Southern Division Championship Series
Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Winston-Salem Dash
Friday, September 7 — 7:00 p.m.
Game 3 — Series tied 1-1
GAME 3 BACKGROUND:
Winston-Salem stayed alive in the best-of-three SDCS with a 5-3 victory over Myrtle Beach in Game 2 Thursday night at BB&T Ballpark. Winston rallied with three in the home half of the seventh to take the lead for good. Courtney Hawkins’ leadoff long ball evened the score, and Marcus Semien’s two-run double four batters later proved to be the game-winning knock. As a result, the Dash and Pelicans will play for a Mills Cup Championship Series ticket tonight.
Winston-Salem — RHP Chris Bassitt (5-4, 3.66 ERA): Bassitt, a converted reliever, takes to the hill tonight with the Dash’s season on the line. Bassitt had not been a regular member of a rotation since high school before his 10 starts in 2012. As a starter, Bassitt finished the regular season with a 4-2 record and a 4.25 ERA. The former Akron Zip had success against the Pelicans, amassing nine and a third scoreless frames over four efforts, only one of which was a start.
Myrtle Beach — RHP Nick McBride (2-3, 3.76 ERA): Myrtle Beach counters with McBride, a Lewisville, N.C., native and a Ragsdale High School product. The Dash beat McBride August 25 in Winston-Salem, his only appearance back in the Triad. McBride surrendered five runs on eight hits in six and a third innings in what was a Dash victory.
- Winston-Salem has had success when playing for a series victory in 2012. Winston went 9-3 in rubber matches this season, which includes a 5-1 mark at home in such situations.
- Since Winston-Salem won the 2003 Carolina League crown, the franchise was 0-4 in playoff elimination games until Thursday. As a result, the Dash will play in Winston’s seventh winner-take-all in franchise history. Winston-Salem is 3-3 in its previous six affairs. This is the first deciding playoff game for the franchise since 2004, when Kinston defeated Winston in the SDCS.
- The Dash had not scored more than one run in an inning during the postseason until the seventh inning of Game 2. Winston-Salem has not played consecutive games without a multi-run inning since July 2-3 during a series in Frederick, a span of 58 games which is still in progress thanks to the Dash’s three-run seventh.
- Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins went yard for the second straight playoff game Thursday. His homer in the fifth inning of Game 1 broke a scoreless tie, while his bomb less than 24 hours ago knotted the score. Including his regular season work, Chicago’s top pick in June is 8-for-25 (.320) with three home runs and four RBI at the High-A level.
- Winston-Salem slugger Dan Black took home the Carolina League’s MVP award, but he is 0-for-8 in the playoffs and just 1-for-20 in his last five games since August 31. During the regular season, Black only posted back-to-back hitless games four different times. He placed second in the CL with a .315 average. It is safe to say the Big Black Bear is due.
- Dash reliever Taylor Thompson needed 34 pitches to get five outs last night, so his availability for tonight’s winner-take-all clash is certainly up in the air. Thompson had a 0.55 ERA during the second half of the season, and he earned the save last night after escaping jams in the eighth and ninth. He is this team’s best reliever, but can he pitch in the biggest game of the season?
- The Dash posted the best overall record (87-51-1) and home mark (48-23) during the regular season among the 120 full-season minor league teams. Don’t underestimate the fight of a highly-successful squad. The Dash certainly proved their battle-back mentality last night.
AN EYE ON THE NDCS:
The Northern Division Championship Series will also come down to a Game 3 tonight in Lynchburg. The road team has posted a blowout victory in each of the series’ first two contests. After the Hillcats blew out the Blue Rocks in Delaware in Game 1, Wilmington got revenge in Lynchburg with a 12-3 win, which included three innings of three or more runs, to keep its season alive. Tonight, the Blue Crew sends Leondy Perez (5-4, 3.74 ERA) to the mound against fellow right-hander Aaron Northcraft (10-11, 3.98 ERA).
Dash fans can catch the club’s quest for a 12th Mills Cup by tuning in here. Fans are encouraged to tweet @WSDashBaseball and use the Dash’s official playoff hashtag: #Dash12. The Pre-Game Dash begins at 6:40 p.m. and features a chat with Marcus Semien and a look back at the Dash’s huge seventh inning last night.
The Dash are off tonight, but the roster did change a bit in advance of the season’s final week. Outfielder Ross Wilson was placed on the disabled list with a right hand injury, while Kyle Shelton is back from a DL stint due to a left hamstring strain.
Wilson had played four games since rejoining the Dash following a four-week trip to the disabled list due to an abdominal injury. Overall with Winston-Salem, Wilson is hitting .190 with six RBI and 11 runs scored in 25 games.
Shelton is back in Winston-Salem after posting a .364 mark in six games with Winston earlier this season. He has been on the disabled list since mid-July. Shelton has also played in eight games with Triple-A Charlotte, going 4-for-20 (.200) with a homer and two RBI.
Also, Winston-Salem may be off today, but the club could still lower its magic number to four. Second-place Myrtle Beach opens up a four-game series in Wilmington tonight at 7:05. The Dash own a three-game lead with seven to play in the chase for a second-half Southern Division title.
Enjoy the night off. I’ll talk to you Tuesday.
The Dash play their final game in Myrtle Beach tonight, and the Pelicans’ ballpark is one of the nicer ones in the Carolina League. This facility was known as BB&T Coastal Field before a name change prior to this season. It is now the free-flowing TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.
Here are a few photos around the park in advance of our final day on the beach.
A view from the only outfield seats in the Carolina League outside of BB&T Ballpark.
The ballpark from behind home plate, which shows the smallest fence in the CL.
My view from the booth, with a healthy number of seats below me and in front of the backstop.
One of the beach-themed aspects of the stadium. It is a group seating option for Pelicans fans, and that is real sand.
The concourse area in Myrtle Beach certainly continues with the beach theme.
Finally, this isn’t at the yard, but it is the view from just outside the visiting team hotel. Safe to say, we are in a great spot during our trips to Myrtle Beach.
The Dash and Pelicans wrap up this three-game series with a rubber match tonight at 6:05. Pre-game begins here at 5:50. Talk to you then.
First off, my apologies for the lack of writing over the weekend. With a trip to Myrtle Beach combined with a Sunday off day along with my better half being in town, I did not get around to a post over the last two days.
To make up for it, I will once again share with you some of our most popular posts over the last month. Thanks, as always, for reading and supporting the Dash and this blog.
Secondly, we will be using some of our features from past PlayBall! programs here on the blog. If you missed them in the magazine, you’ll have a chance to check them out here.
Finally, since this week’s trip to Zebulon marks our first “last trip” of the year to a stadium, I’ll have a new ballpark feature starting with Carolina’s Five County Stadium sometime this week.
Without further ado, here are some of our most popular posts lately:
July 12: The quirkiest stat of the year, easily (“Left Never Felt So Right“)
July 9: The best game of the year, arguably (“More On Sunday’s Stunning Slugfest“)
July 7: The craziest trip of the summer, undoubtedly (“120 Minor League Stadiums – One Summer“)
July 3: A chat with the fastest man in minor league baseball (“Run, Billy, Run“)
June 24: Predicting home runs became a bit easier last month (“Predicting Trayce Thompson’s Home Runs“)
June 23: Lunch with a Hall of Famer? Sure… (“Eating Lunch With Rollie Fingers“)
June 20: My favorite recent piece–Winston-Salem’s All-Star tale (“You Tell The All-Star Game Story“)
June 16: You know the Dash clinched the first-half division title. Here’s how they did it. (“How The Dash Got Here“)
Before the Dash and Pelicans continue this four-game series at TicketReturn.com Field in Myrtle Beach, I wanted to share a few numbers with you that are almost as fascinating as the “stat of the year” I provided yesterday. Many of these stats involve the number 10.
- Winston-Salem posted its 13th run output of 10 runs or more in its 10-1 victory Thursday night. The Dash lead the Carolina League in this category, with Salem checking in right behind Winston-Salem with 11 such showings. The Dash tend to parlay their momentum from a double digit offensive display. Winston-Salem is 8-4 in the game following a 10-plus run performance.
- Dash first baseman Dan Black has hit safely in his last nine games dating back to June 25. With a hit tonight, Black would become the ninth Dash swinger to record a hitting streak of 10 games or more. He would join Marcus Semien (18), Nick Ciolli (15), Carlos Sanchez (13), Daniel Wagner (13), Mike Blanke (12), Michael Earley (12), Juan Silverio (10) and Trayce Thompson (10) in the club.
- There have been only 24 hitting streaks of 10 or more games in the Carolina League this season, and the Dash have eight of them, which is the most on the circuit by a wide margin.
- OK, this is a little higher than 10, but it is still pretty great. Dash slugger Cyle Hankerd crushed his 12th homer of the season in the second inning Thursday night. Hankerd is now tied in all of minor league baseball with 12 homers since June 9, when he joined the Dash from Low-A Kannapolis. Only Mike Hessman from Oklahoma City (Triple-A, Houston) has also mustered a dozen homers over the last 34 days.
- I give Blanke and Steven Upchurch a 10 for their new purchase today. While hanging out around the Broadway on the Beach, a local tourist attraction in Myrtle Beach, the duo bought neon yellow t-shirts. They are brighter than the reflection off the Winston Tower near sunset.
- Three rounds of mini golf and 10 holes in one for yours truly. I’m hoping to get one more round in before the trip ends tomorrow night.
The Dash and Pelicans square off tonight at 7:05. Join me at 6:50 for the Pre-Game Dash here.
While we do like to focus on baseball on this blog, a trip to Myrtle Beach is a little more of an experience than a typical road trip. There was plenty to do, and I thought a recap of the past three days was in order. It has been an eventful first trip to Myrtle Beach for the broadcasters. Brian and I are coming back a little more burnt than we left.
The visiting hotel is one of the nicest in the league. Our hotel is at a place called Broadway on the Beach. This massive entertainment area is about a mile away from the actual beach, but is a suitable alternative to the actual beach. I have a big sweet tooth and was pleased to discover two fudge shops, two massive candy stores and multiple ice cream parlors.
There were two things I wanted to do on the trip: go to the beach and play mini-golf. We accomplished the former on Tuesday afternoon when a 20-minute walk to the beach turned into a 90 minute excursion around the greater Myrtle Beach area (I’ll lend that to my keen sense of direction in trying to walk north to a beach that was south and east). Eventually, we did make it to the actual beach and enjoyed a few hours on the sand. At the time, there were a good number of dead jellyfish that had washed ashore, and the baseball team’s namesake (Pelicans) were out feasting. It would have been a good time for Spongebob and Patrick to go jellyfishing.
Earlier today, Brian and I did engage in an epic contest of wills on the mini-golf course. The first round saw a back nine surge that resembled Tiger in his heyday as I came back from seven strokes down on the final seven holes to win. Brian and I did both play extremely well, knocking two holes-in-one apiece the first round.
I was an extremely consistent 44-44 on the day, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough on the second course of the mini-golf complex. Brian played with an intensity not seen around those parts since the Professional Mini Golf Championships of 1996 (Note: said tournament may not have occurred). He shot a two-under par 41 in round two to split the day. We shook hands and all were winners.
The hotel also sits across the street from the ballpark, so we and many of the players would simply walk to and from the game each night. The newly-named TicketReturn.Com Field is a nice facility, built in 1999, but still with very good amenities. The crowds didn’t rival BB&T Ballpark when we were here, but a sizable contingent made themselves heard each night.
Those were the highlights of our Myrtle Beach trip. I’m currently sitting in the press box contentedly munching on a big bag of candy while preparing for tonight’s final game of the series. The Dash look to avoid being swept for the first time this season. The Pre-Game Dash starts at 6:50, so make sure you tune in on wsdash.com. We’ll see you tomorrow night at BB&T Ballpark for a season long eight-game homestand.