Mudcats roll 7-0 behind stellar pitching; Baker perfect
Starting pitcher Dylan Baker made the most of his first start with the Carolina Mudcats notching six innings of perfect baseball.
Frederick, MD — In their first road game of the season, the Carolina Mudcats (3-2) relied on six perfect innings from starter Dylan Baker to secure a 7-0 shutout win over the Frederick Keys (2-3) on Tuesday night.
The right-handed Baker (1-0) started his tenure off with Carolina on a high note with a perfect pitching performance. After being transferred from Mahoning Valley on Monday, Baker did not allow a single hit or walk, while retiring 18 straight Keys' batters.
The Mudcats relived Baker by bringing in Jacob Lee who pitched a solid two innings of relief allowing only one hit and a walk. Carolina’s Rob Nixon earned the save by closing out the Keys in the final frame of the night.
A strong first inning, put Carolina ahead and continued the trend of getting out to early leads, which has stretched to five straight games for the Mudcats. After the Mudcats Logan Vick reached first on a walk, a single from shortstop Erik Gonzalez advanced Vick to third to put a runner in scoring position. Anthony Gallas capitalized with an RBI single to right that brought Vick around to score, giving Carolina a 1-0 advantage.
Carolina opened the scoring back up in the sixth after four consecutive scoreless innings from both teams. A leadoff walk of Todd Hankins put immediate pressure on Frederick and a stolen base made things worse. A Vick groundout managed to advance Hankins to third setting up Erik Gonzalez with an RBI opportunity. Gonzalez’s shot up the middle to Keys' pitcher Branden Kline was just enough to score Hankins from third to make it a 2-0 lead in favor of the Mudcats.
After another hitless inning from Frederick, Carolina continued to put runs on the board in the seventh. Alex Monsalve reached first on a walk and a LeVon Washington single up the middle helped him reach third. With runners on the corners, third baseman James Roberts singled on a line drive to center to score Monsalve and advance Washington to second. A Hankins single brought Washington home to increase the Carolina lead to four runs.
With Baker done for the night, the Keys finally got a pitch they were able to handle in the bottom half of the seventh. A triple from Frederick’s Glynn Davis gave the Keys their first opportunity to score against the Mudcats. Mudcats reliever Lee recovered by striking out Brenden Webb and forcing consecutive outs from Creede Simpson and Michael Burgess to get Carolina out of the inning unscathed.
The Mudcats extended their lead in the eighth to putting the game out of reach. Gonzalez singled to lead off the inning and followed it up by stealing second base. A triple to deep right from catcher Jeremy Lucas scored Gonzalez and made it a 5-0 game. Monsalve singled to center to bring Lucas home and extend the lead to 6-0.
Another triple, this time from Gonzalez, and Anthony Gallas’s second RBI single of the night gave Carolina an insurmountable 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.
Frederick’s Branden Kline (1-1) was credited with the loss after producing a solid night on the mound. A lack of run support, ultimately, hurt Kline, who pitched 6 innings and gave up two earned on three hits while striking out eight.
Carolina continues their seven-game road trip on Wednesday when they take on the Keys for the second straight night. Left-hander Shawn Morimondo is tabbed to start for the Mudcats and is set to face Parker Bridwell.
Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.