Every game was close and came down to the final at-bats in the Carolina League Championship. Unfortunately, the Wilmington Blue Rocks offense couldn’t come through with enough clutch hits, as they lost the decisive Game 3, 3-2 in Myrtle Beach and were swept.
Luis Rico, who allowed a double but recorded the final out in the eighth went back out for the ninth with all the left-handed hitters in the Pelicans lineup.
Mark Zagunis led off the ninth with a single and Jason Vosler worked a walk. After a sac bunt and a fly out, it looked as though Rico might get out of the inning. The Blue Rocks elected to intentionally walk Chesny Young to load the bases to bring up the lefty hitting Pin-Chieh Chen.
Blue Rocks manager Brian Buchanan went to ground ball specialist Yender Caramo to face Chen, who got a ground ball, but through the infield and into left field for the walk off winner.
That came after the Blue Rocks tied the game in the top of the ninth. Cam Gallagher led off the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second base by Humberto Arteaga. Mike Hill was called on to pinch-hit for the second time in the series and second time in the 9th inning against Pelicans reliever David Berg.
This time, Hill came through with an RBI single to center.
The Blue Rocks had their chances, as they collected seven hits and two walks. They went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position, struck out 11 times, and hit into a double play.
Gallagher and lead off hitter Carlos Garcia each had two hits and scored a run.
Alec Mills got the start for the Blue Rocks and allowed single runs over the first two innings. He allowed three hits and walked one in the first two innings (five hits and two walks total over six innings).
Victor Caratini drove in the game’s first run with a first inning sac fly. He went 7-for-11 in the Championship Series.