ZEBULON, N.C.- The Carolina Mudcats battled through the dreary Carolina mist, but couldn’t avoid the series sweep, falling 6-5 to the Frederick Keys.
Left-handed pitcher Shawn Morimando
(1-4) started the game for the Mudcats but did not fare well. Morimando walked six batters over four innings, giving up two hits and two runs.
Starting right-handed pitcher Zach Davies
(2-2) took the win for Frederick. Davies allowed five runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings.
The Mudcat’s pitching struggled through the second inning. After two walks and a balk on Morimando, the Keys scored on an RBI out by center fielder Glynn Davis
, leaving the score 1-0 in favor of the Keys to end the second.
In the fourth inning, the Mudcats found themselves in a rundown between first and second base that allowed the Keys to score on a fielder’s choice. Right fielder Brenden Webb
started the fourth for the Keys with a double. Davis got on the base next with a walk and made the smart decision to attempt to steal second base with Webb on third. While shortstop Francisco Lindor
and first baseman Jerrud Sabourin
were preoccupied with picking off Davis, Webb scored during the rundown. The Keys held the lead 2-0.
Right-handed pitcher Michael Goodnight
relieved Morimando after four innings in hopes to change the tempo of the game. Unfortunately, Goodnight had similar luck.
The Keys bases loaded with no outs, and added to their lead in fifth inning. Jason Esposito
grounded into a force out RBI that scored shortstop Sammie Starr
, opening the Key’s lead 3-0.
The Mudcats finally executed a scoring play in the bottom of the fifth. Left fielder Luigi Rodriguez
doubled off the right wall. Rodriguez advanced to third on a fly out by third baseman Justin Toole
and scored on a ground out RBI by designated hitter Zack MacPhee, as the Muddies creapt closer, 3-1.
The Keys reciprocated on offense with an earned run in the top of the sixth with a base hit by left fielder Johnny Ruettiger that scored Davis. But the Keys weren’t done yet. Catcher Allan de San Miguel
reached base on a fielding error by Medina, allowing Ruettiger and Starr to score.
The Mudcat’s rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning with four runs on four hits, cutting the lead to one against the Keys. Rodriquez hit a two-run double, scoring Lindor and Smith followed by a two-run single by Toole that scored catcher Charlie Valerio
and Rodriquez, ending the scoring at 6-5.
Carolina Mudcats Manager David Wallace was pleased with the team’s comeback in the sixth inning. “It shows good things about this team. They aren’t going to give up when things haven’t been going well,” said Wallace.
The score remained the same throughout the remainder of what was recorded as the longest game played at Five-County Stadium.
The Mudcats struggled with pitching throughout the game. Left-handed pitcher Francisco Jimenez
replaced Goodnight to start the seventh inning, followed by reliefs from Jeff Johnson
and J.D. Reichenbach
. The Mudcats ended with 13 walks, just three shy of the all-rime record set in 1998.
Wallace’s overall feeling about the pitching was not positive. “We’ve got to figure out how to not walk guys. We were giving away free bases and we’ve got to figure out away to make them earn it. We’ve got guys with good stuff but if we don’t throw it over the plate it doesn’t do us any good,” said Wallace.