COURTESY MYRTLE BEACH PELICANS
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Myrtle Beach Pelicans won the 2016 Carolina League Championship after defeating the Lynchburg Hillcats 5-3 Wednesday to clinch the the Mills Cup Championship Series in four games.
It’s the second straight title for the Pelicans, making them the first team to win back-to-back outright titles since 1985 and 86. The Pelicans now have four championships in franchise history. Myrtle Beach claimed the outright title in 2000 and 2015, while earning a split of the 1999 championship with the Wilmington due to Hurricane Floyd.
James Pugliese struck out seven in 4 1/3 innings of relief to help the Pelicans overcome an early deficit. Myrtle Beach trailed 3-2 when he entered to begin the fourth inning. He threw four perfect innings, retiring 13 straight and striking out seven to pick up the win. The Pelicans scored three runs in the seventh to take the lead for good.