Brown leads Mudcats past Dash, 7-4
Carolina cranked out 11 hits in Saturday's win over Winston-Salem.
WINSTON-SALEN, NC — A late rally from the home team was not enough as the Carolina Mudcats rode an early lead to a 7-4 victory over the Winston-Salem Dash on Saturday night.
Carolina starter D.J. Brown (3-7, 4.36) produced a strong outing in which he allowed just two earned runs off of seven hits over 5.1 innings. The right-hander walked one and fanned three Dash batters on his way to the win.
Winston-Salem’s James Dykstra (3-3, 5.10) took the loss after he was hit eight times for four Carolina runs across 5.2 innings.
The win brings the Mudcats to 29-31 on the second half and 57-69 on the year. Saturday night’s victory puts the Mudcats 2.0 games out of second place and 2.5 games out of first.
The Mudcats jumped out to an early lead behind four runs in the top of the third inning. A leadoff walk from Logan Vick and a Yhoxian Medina single to right was followed by a throwing error on a pick off attempt that advanced both runners to set up the first score. Yandy Diaz capitalized with a double to deep left that brought Vick and Medina around to score.
Later in the inning and with two away, Joe Sever used an RBI single to plate Diaz from second for yet another score. The final run of the inning came after a passed ball moved Sever to second where he was hit home by an RBI single from Torsten Boss to make it 4-0.
The Dash got one run back in the bottom half of the frame thanks to three straight singles from the top of the order. Adam Engel and Cleuluis Rondon singled off of D.J. Brown to put runners at first and second. Keon Barnum then singled to left score Engel from second to cut the lead to 4-1.
Another Winston-Salem score in the bottom of the fifth pulled the home team within two runs of the hungry Mudcats. Left fielder Keenyn Walker scored the run on a sac fly from Adam Engel after his lead off triple to left got things going for the Dash.
Carolina countered in the top of the sixth to maintain a three run cushion. With two outs, James Roberts singled to center to reach base and ultimately scored after center fielder Logan Vick lined a double to right.
The Mudcats put two insurance runs on the board in the top of the ninth in hopes of putting the game out of reach. With Logan Vick at third, Yandy Diaz sent a line drive single back up the middle to score the center fielder easily. Alex Monsalve then singled to right to advance Diaz to third and a passed ball allowed the Carolina third baseman to sprint home for a 7-2 lead.
The two Carolina runs would prove important as Winston-Salem staged a come back attempt in the bottom of the ninth. The Dash began the rally with a couple of walks a wild pitch from Grant Sides that allowed both runners to move to third and second. Cleuluis Rondon blasted a double down the left field line to score two. Sides issued another walk which brought his night to an end.
Scooter Tucker brought Benny Suarez in to relieve the struggling right hander. Suarez made quick work of Trey Michaelczewski and, three strikes later, the rally and the game were over.
The Mudcats return to action on Sunday as they continue their series with the Winston-Salem Dash. Carolina’s Ace, Ryan Merritt (13-3, 2.49), will square off with Winston-Salem’s Nick Blount. First pitch is set for 2:00 PM.
Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.