Carolina Mudcats strand nine runners, lose to Potomac, 3-1
WOOLBRIDGE, Va. — In a close game throughout, the Carolina Mudcats failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities, and ultimately lost 3-1 to the Potomac Nationals for the second straight night.
Carolina recorded nine hits, five of which were doubles, but the Mudcats went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners stranded.
In the top of the second, Carolina managed to load the bases but aRyan Battaglia ground out ended the inning and kept the Mudcats off the board.
The trend continued in the sixth inning when Anthony Gallas doubled to right and Jeremy Lucas singled to advance him to third. Three straight outs by the Mudcats ended the inning and hopes of a rally.
Unlike Carolina, Potomac scored early after putting runners on base. After a Brandon Miller solo home run gave the Nationals an early lead in the second inning, Carolina conceded another run in the third. Nationals’ first basemanJustin Miller singled to lead off the inning and proceeded to steal second during the following at bat. With a runner in scoring position, Oscar Tejeda hit an RBI single to left to score Miller and make it a 2-0 ballgame.
Carolina responded in the top of the fourth to keep the game close. Catcher Jeremy Lucas singled to left and Charlie Valerio followed it up with a double to put runners at second and third. The Mudcats’ James Roberts grounded out to second but Lucas managed to score from third in the process.
The Nationals extended their lead in the bottom of the sixth when starting pitcher Cole Sulser began to run out of gas.Kevin Keyes reached second base after a single and a steal during Brandon Miller’s at-bat. Stephen Perez hit an RBI single to center that scored Keyes and gave Potomac a 3-1 lead.
Cole Sulser (0-1) took the loss after pitching 5.2 innings and gave up three runs on five hits. Jacob Lee pitched 2.1 innings of relief for Carolina and held the Nationals scoreless but a lack of run support made the difference in a close game.
Potomac starting pitcher Pedro Encarnacion (1-0) earned the win after pitching 5.0 innings and giving up one run on six hits. Potomac’s bullpen was strong during four innings of relief and kept Carolina scoreless, only allowing three hits.
Potomac’s Robert Benincasa was awarded the save after closing out the Mudcats in the top of the ninth to end the game.
The Mudcats (5-4) look to turn things around on Sunday when they are scheduled to take on the Potomac Nationals (5-4) at G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium. Dylan Baker is set to make his second start of the season against Potomac’sNick Lee.
Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.