Mudcats click on all cylinders to down Dash 4-0
Carolina plays well despite coming off 14-inning affair
ZEBULON – Coming off a 14 inning marathon win on Thursday night, the Carolina Mudcats showed no signs of a hangover, defeating the Winston Salem Dash 4-0 Friday night at Five County Stadium. The win brings the Mudcats’ second half record back to .500 at 13-13, and 35-61 overall.
Mudcats manager David Wallace was very pleased with his team’s performance, and sees vast improvements from the way the team played in the first half.
Wallace said, “We’ve been playing some good ball. I love the way we’ve been throwing the ball. We had some good clutch hitting. All of this adds up to more wins.”
Coming off the 14 inning game, it would have been understandable to have a bit of a hangover, but the team came out from the beginning playing strong.
Wallace said, “I was proud of those guys. They had to be here for a kids camp this early this morning, so it’s a testament to them.”
Carolina scored two runs apiece in the fourth and fifth innings by playing small ball and stringing together hits.
Left hander Shawn Morimando got the start for the Mudcats, and pitched five shutout innings. On the night, Morimando allowed only five hits, while striking out six batters and walking only two. With the start, Morimando picked up the win, bringing his record to 6-9 on the season.
Overall, Wallace was pleased with Morimando’s start despite the deep pitch counts he ran into on several batters.
“I thought he pitched well. He could have put a few batters away sooner and maybe save his pitches, but that pitch count just got away from him,” said Wallace.
Morimando was also pleased with his start, and was appreciative of the way the offense and defense played behind him.
Morimando said, “I think I pitched well, but this was a team win. The bullpen came in and got the job done. The offense came out and put up runs, and the defense played really well behind me. All around it went really well.”
Morimando allowed a triple with two outs in the top of the opening frame, but that runner did not score as Morimando struck out his second batter of the night to end the inning.
Carolina threatened to push across the first runs of the game as first baseman Jerrud Sabourin and left fielder Bryson Myles were on second and third with two outs. Sabourin reached on a fielder’s choice as third baseman Paddy Matera was out at second base after being hit by a pitch. Myles singled to put runners on second and third. Sabourin advanced to third on a sacrifice fly by catcher Alex Lavisky and Myles stole second base to put both runners in scoring position. However, neither runner was able to score as shortstop Justin Toole flew out to center field to end the inning.
Morimando ran into a little trouble in the fourth inning after allowing back-to-back singles with two outs, however, he struck out the final batter of the inning to end the threat.
Second baseman Joey Wendle led off the fourth inning with a single, and attempted to steal second with Sabourin batting. Just as Wendle reached second base, Sabourin chopped a pitch to second base that skipped off the glove of the Winston Salem second baseman. Sabourin was safe and Wendle advanced to third on the error. Myles was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. After Lavisky struck out for the second out of the inning, Toole slapped a two-run single into right field to give the Mudcats a two-run lead.
Defensively, the star of the night was Matera, who made a couple of difficult defensive plays at third base. More than once, Matera snagged a ball, and threw out a runner corner to corner.
“I’m just trying to help out the pitchers. I’m not going to lie, I’d rather hit, so the quicker we get outs the sooner I can come in and hit,” said Matera.
“We’re clicking at the right time. Everything is working for us, pitching, defense, hitting," Matera said
Smith led off the fifth inning with a single, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Designated hitter Bo Greenwell grounded out to second base to advance Smith to third base, and Wendle followed with an RBI double to bring in Smith. Matera followed with an RBI double of his own to score Wendle to give Carolina a four-run lead.
Right hander Francisco Valera relieved Morimando in the sixth inning and pitched two solid innings before running into trouble with two outs in the eighth inning.
Valera gave up three consecutive singles to load the bases, which would be enough to end his night bring in right hander Josh Martin.
With Martin pitching and the bases loaded, Lavisky launched a snap-throw to first base, and got the runner to end the inning without allowing a run to score.
Martin pitched a perfect ninth to close out the victory. With the four outs recorded, Martin picked up his first save with the Mudcats.
Carolina looks to win the series against Winston Salem on Saturday night. Right hander Joe Colon gets the start for the 6:15 first pitch.
Zachary is a senior at NC State where he is majoring in communication-media, with minors in journalism and theatre. You can follow him on Twitter @RealZachFrancis.