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Carolina Mudcats lose on walk-off run from Salem Red Sox

Carolina Mudcats lose on walk-off run from Salem Red Sox
Photo credt: Tony Lastoria/IBI
June 26, 2014
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SALEM, Va. – In a game in which offense was hard to come by, the Carolina Mudcats fell, 2-1, Thursday to the Salem Red Sox.

With the game tied at one headed into the bottom of the ninth, Salem won in walk-off fashion thanks to a Ryan Dent double offClayton Cook (0-3, 6.88 ERA).

Carolina fell despite another quality start from southpaw Shawn Morimando, who went 6.0 innings allowing one earned run on four hits. He struck out five and walked just one.

Salem finally managed to breakthrough for the game’s opening run off Morimando in the bottom of the fourth. Reed Gragnani doubled to left to open the frame before Morimando retired Jantzen White and Mario Martinez. However, Kevin Heller came through with the timely two-out single to right scoring Gragnani to put the Red Sox up 1-0.

Salem clung to the one run advantage, which seemed like it might be enough as Red Sox starter Joe Gunkel kept the Mudcats lineup guessing. The right-hander cruised through 6.0 shutout innings allowing just four hits and two walks. But Gunkel was denied the win as Carolina fought back to tie the game in the top of the eighth.

After Salem reliever Matt Ott (1-0, 0.00 ERA) struck out Yhoxian Medina and forced Luigi Rodriguez to fly out to left, the Mudcats began a two-out rally of their own as LeVon Washington singled up the middle. With Ollie Lintonat the plate, an Ott error on a pickoff attempt to first allowed Washington to advance all the way to third. Ott then threw Linton a wild pitch, which allowed Washington to come in and even the score at 1.

Mudcats reliever Jacob Lee kept the game even thanks to his scoreless six and seventh innings. The right-hander didn’t allow a base runner in his 2.0 innings of work. 

Thanks to Salem’s ninth inning rally, Ott got his first win of the season with the Red Sox. He went 3.0 innings allowing one unearned run on one hit. 

Cook took the loss for the Mudcats after giving up an earned run on two hits in his 0.2 innings of work.

After striking out both Gragnani and White swinging to open the bottom of the ninth, Cook allowed the winning run on base as Martinez singled to center. Martinez then got into scoring position after Cook hit Heller. This set the stage for Dent, whose two-bagger to left clinched the series win for Salem.

The loss drops Carolina to 3-5 for the second half and 32-43 overall. Salem improves to 3-5 for the second half to put them at 36-40 for their full 2014 campaign. 

The Mudcats are set to look to avoid the series sweep at the hands of the Red Sox Friday. Carolina is scheduled to send ace Ryan Merritt to the hill against Cody Kukuk in a matchup of lefties.

First pitch from Salem Memorial Baseball Stadium is set for 7:05 p.m.

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