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Carolina Mudcats lose tight battle with Wilmington Blue Rocks

Carolina Mudcats lose tight battle with Wilmington Blue Rocks
Photo credt: Tony Lastoria/IBI
April 23, 2014
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WILMINGTON, Del. — In a back and forth game throughout, the Carolina Mudcats failed to come back from a late deficit and lost to the Wilmington Blue Rocks 4-3 Wednesday night.

A Mudcats’ comeback attempt in the eighth fell short when the tying run was called out at home plate.

After falling behind 4-2 down the stretch, the Mudcats showed life in the eighth inning as they staged their comeback attempt with starterYender Caramo out of the game. Carolina’s Alex Monsalve hit a leadoff single and made it to second on James Roberts’ second hit of the night. Charlie Valerio singled on a deep fly ball to center that gave Monsalve just enough time to score.

During the play, Roberts managed to take second base, putting the tying run in scoring position. Ollie Linton singled on a soft pop up to shortstop Raul Mondesi which gave Roberts a chance to make it home, but Mondesi made an incredible throw to catcher Cam Gallagher that allowed him to tag Roberts at the plate and preserve the 4-3 victory for the Blue Rocks.

Coming off a seven-game homestand, the Mudcats showed no signs of fatigue and opened the scoring early in the first inning. Centerfielder Logan Vick singled on a line drive to right and advanced to third after Erik Gonzalez’s fifth double of the season. With runners in scoring position, Jeremy Lucas hit a ground ball to short that allowed Vick to score from third and put Carolina on top, 1-0. Monsalve had a chance to extend the lead after Gonzalez reached third base on a wild pitch but a ground out ended the inning.

The Wilmington Blue Rocks found an answer in the bottom of the first with two runs of their own. A leadoff single from Mondesi and a single to left from Bubba Starling put pressure on the Mudcats early. Third baseman Hunter Dozierbrought Mondesi around to score from second with a line drive single to left that leveled the game at 1-1. Wilmington’sZane Evans set up another scoring opportunity with a single to right that advanced Starling to third and Dozier to second. Johermyn Chavez took advantage by hitting a sac fly to left to score Starling and take the lead. Sulser managed to get out of the inning by forcing a ground out and pop up to record two consecutive outs.

Carolina responded in the top of the third with some power from Lucas. Vick managed to reach base on a fielding error but was thrown out attempting to steal second and a ground out from Gonzalez had the Blue Rocks expecting a quick three-up three-down inning, but Lucas had other plans. He homered on a deep fly ball to right to tie the game back up at two runs apiece.

Wilmington finally managed to pull away after two unanswered runs in the fifth and seventh innings. After Mondesi blasted a home run in the fifth, he opened up the seventh by singling to right and stealing second during Bubba Starling’s at bat. The Blue Rock’s Dozier hit an RBI single to right to bring Mondesi home for what would ultimately be the game winning run.

Mondesi shined for the Blue Rocks to victory by scoring three runs after going 3-4 with a home run. His defensive play in the top of the eighth ensured the victory and put an end to Carolina’s comeback attempt.

The Mudcats’ Cole Sulser (0-2) took the loss for his rough outing after going 5.2 innings and allowing three runs on seven hits. Carolina’s bullpen pitched 2.1 innings and gave up only two hits but allowed the Blue Rocks to score the game winning run.

Caramo (1-2) earned his first win of the season after pitching 6.0 innings in which he allowed only two runs off seven hits. Mark Peterson recorded the save after keeping Carolina off the board in the ninth.

Carolina (10-9) is set to try to turn things around on Thursday when they are scheduled to face Wilmington (8-11) for the second straight night. Right hander D.J. Brown is set to take on Jonathan Dziedzic of the Blue Rocks.

Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.

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