Carolina Mudcats complete game with 7-run 8th, win second
LYNCHBURG, Va. – After two long nights of tough baseball and delays, the Carolina Mudcats finally walked away with two solid wins over the Lynchburg Hillcats Wednesday night.
The Mudcats used a big eighth inning to take a 12-4 win in the first game of the night.
The cross divisional battle began on Tuesday night but was halted in the bottom of the sixth when lightning struck a transformer and took out the lights in the stadium. The game was scheduled to resume on Wednesday at 6:05 PM but a rain delay postponed the game even further.
After the rain cleared, the teams took the field with the score tied at three with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
With the game back underway, Carolina jumped out to a two run lead in the top of the seventh behind an Erik Gonzalez two run blast. But Lynchburg's Will Skinner countered in the bottom half of the inning with a home run of his own to keep the Hillcats close at 5-4.
The Mudcats then put together a seven run eighth inning that proved to be the difference in the game. With Lynchburg's Benino Pruneda in to relieve Zach Jadofsky, James Roberts and Yhoxian Medina opened the inning with back to back singles. Logan Vick scored Roberts with a sac fly for the first run of the inning. Two more singles from Erik Gonazlez and Joe Sever were enough to plate Medina to make it 7-4. A walk of Yandy Diazloaded the bases for the Mudcats and consecutive walks from Pruneda forced two more runs home.
Navery Moore replaced the struggling Pruneda but would go on to surrender three additional runs in the inning. With the bases still loaded, a James Roberts single plated two and a Yhoxian Medina double to left scored LeVon Washington to secure the win for the Mudcats.
Right hander Josh Martin (4-4, 3.98 ERA) took the win after tossing 2.1 innings in which he allowed only one earned run off of four hits.
Carolina's Ryan Merritt looked strong in his start which was cut short at 5.2 innings. Merritt gave up three earned runs off four hits without allowing a walk.
Merritt struggled in the bottom of the second but would go on to retire fourteen straight batters before the game was called.
Zach Jadofsky (3-4, 5.33 ERA) shouldered the loss for the Hillcats after hurling 1.2 innings in which he gave up two earned runs off two hits and a walk.
In the first inning, Carolina got off to a quick start behind a Todd Hankins leadoff double. Erik Gonzalez advanced Hankins with a well placed bunt and a Joe Sever groundout was enough to score the speedy center fielder.
Lynchburg responded with three runs in the bottom of the second as they seemed to figure out Ryan Merritt. Back to back singles from Kevin Ahrens and Emerson Landoni gave the Hillcats two baserunners and put some pressure on the Carolina ace. A balk call moved the runners and a Will Skinner single to left scored Ahrens. Levi Hyams then singled to right to score Landoni and a sac fly brought Skinner around to score to make it 3-1.
The Mudcats leveled the game with a run in the top of the fifth and sixth inning. A leadoff double from Yhoxian Medina and a single from Todd Hankins put runners on the corners for Carolina. Erik Gonzalez took advantage of the scoring opportunity by sending a fly ball to deep right that allowed Medina to tag and score.
LeVon Washington tied the game at three with a solo home run to lead off the top of the sixth.
The Mudcats finished the game with a total of seventeen hits. Carolina had six batters record at least two hits in the impressive win.
In the second game on the night, the Mudcats overcame an early deficit to win 5-4.
Down 3-2 going into the seventh, Carolina loaded the bases with a single from Erik Gonzalez and consecutive walks. Jerrud Sabourin scored Gonzalez with a single and Alex Monsalve scored LeVon Washington thanks to a fielding error by second baseman Eric Garcia. Ryan Battaglia added the third run of the inning with a sac fly to center that plated Yandy Diaz.
The Mudcats made the lead hold for the remainder of the game despite giving up a run in the bottom of the ninth.
Michael Peoples (6-7, 4.60 ERA) earned the win by allowing only three earned runs off of four hits in 6.2 innings of play. The Carolina starter managed to fan eight Hillcat batters in the process.
After Wednesday's results, Carolina improves to 12-9 during the second half and 41-47 on the year. Lynchburg falls to 9-11 and 43-47 on the year.
Carolina continues their series with the Lynchburg Hillcats on Thursday. D.J. Brown is set to start for the Mudcats. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.