Two Dingers Too Many To Overcome: Dash fall to the Pelicans 4-3

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Steele Walker provided the offense for the Dash and Kade McClure was very good through five but not through six as the team fell 4-3 to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to even out the series. 

McClure has done nothing but perform at each level of the minors he’s stopped at, AZL, Great Falls, Kannapolis, and now Winston. Coming into Tuesday’s start, he had thrown 18 innings in High-A, and had given up only one run, earned or otherwise. Nothing good can last though (put it on my gravestone), and McClure finally ran into some trouble. 

Honestly, though, not a lot of trouble. He was dinged for two runs in the fourth on an Extreme Dong to right-center field, but prior to that inning, he hadn’t allowed a hit. He started faltering as he approached 100 pitches in the sixth, giving up hard contact to three consecutive batters, all with two outs. The first flew out deep to right. The second slammed a double deep to center. The third cracked a dinger deep to left field, wrapping up McClure’s start one out short of six full innings. He gave up four runs on five hits total, and walked only one while striking out four. All runs scored on the two home runs he gave up.

Overall, he was good but not great, probably better than the four-run line indicates. He wasn’t overpowering, but other than the hard contact he gave up, he didn’t give up much hard contact. This is the most earned runs he’s allowed in a game since April 15, his second start of the season, when he gave up five with the Intimidators.

The bullpen kept it close throughout. In his 21 innings this year, Kevin Escorcia has a brutal 6.43 BB/9 ratio, which has understandably helped lead to an ERA of 6.00 entering this game. He walked just one over his two and a third innings, though, hitting one with a pitch and allowing no hits. Luis Ledo, who still throws 97, gave up a hit and no runs — the Ledo Experience. No walks there though, either, so his season total of 16 over 26.2 innings will remain static.

Steele Walker has been unstoppable lately, and he was not stopped today. Last year’s second round pick had a tough May after his promotion from Kannapolis, but has bounced back with a truly impressive June, slashing .318/.375/.561/.936 this month. In his last 10 games, including tonight, he’s batting .405 with three home runs and 11 RBI. Tonight, three batters into the game, he crushed a three-run shot to right field, destroyed it.

Twice the Dash ran themselves out of potential big innings, and that’s two more times than you want in a one-run game. In the seventh, Zach Remillard singled to open the inning. What followed was a series of wacky events in quick succession: Craig Dedelow singled on a grounder past the first baseman. Remillard took off and got to third safely. The throw to third was off the bag and to the dugout, so Remillard took a chance and sprinted home. Despite a headlong dive, he couldn’t slide around the tag, and the Dash didn’t score in the seventh. In the eighth, Jordan George led off with one heck of a double off the center field wall, and tried to stretch it to a three-bagger. This attempt was unsuccessful, and the Dash didn’t score in the eighth (or the ninth, which was less exciting despite a Jameson Fisher one-out single).

Konnor Pilkington will look to bounce back from a rough start at 7 pm on Wednesday for the final game of the series and the homestand.

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