Carolina Mudcats complete comeback to top Lynchburg, 8-7
LYNCHBURG, Va. – For the second night in a row, the Carolina Mudcats fought back from a late deficit to top the Lynchburg Hillcats
Carolina won, 8-7, on Wednesday night. The Mudcats posted three runs in the top of the ninth to take the lead and complete their rally after trailing by three runs going into the eighth inning.
Down by two runs going into the final inning, the Mudcats found themselves with their backs against the wall. A Torsten Boss single and back-to-back walks of Luigi Rodriguez and Ollie Linton loaded the bases and shortstop Erik Gonzalez capitalized with a single to right that scored Boss and Rodriguez to tie the game. Ollie Linton took second base during the play and was given third on a balk call during the following at bat. After Jeremy Lucas was intentionally walked, Benino Pruneda threw a wild pitch and Linton scored the go ahead run that completed the rally.
Starter Cole Sulser tossed 5.2 innings and allowed one earned run on five hits while striking out five. An additional five runs were scored during his time on the mound but they went unearned due to errors.
Carolina’s Elvis Araujo (1-1) took the win after pitching 1.0 innings without allowing a hit or an earned run. Benny Suarez earned the save after he kept Lynchburg scoreless in the ninth.
Lynchburg scored the first run of the game late in the fourth inning.
Second baseman Jose Peraza doubled to left and took third during a groundout from Levi Hyams. David Nick was intentionally walked which put runners on the corners and brought Will Skinner up to the plate. Skinner took advantage of the scoring opportunity by belting a sac fly to deep center that scored Peraza.
The Mudcats tallied their first score in the top of the fifth inning on a sac fly of their own. Yhoxian Medina doubled down the left field line and was advanced to third after a Torsten Boss single. Luigi Rodriguez brought Medina around to score with a fly ball out to center that leveled the game at one run apiece.
Later in the inning Carolina failed to score Boss who had advanced to third during the sac fly and a ground out from Linton. Gonzalez had the RBI opportunity but grounded out to third to end the inning.
The Hillcats scored another run in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead. With Eric Garcia at third and Daniel Castro at first after an infield single, Alejandro Piloto managed to score Garcia thanks to a throwing error from Medina.
The lead changed hands again in the top of the sixth when the Mudcats found their rhythm at the plate. Consecutive singles from Lucas and Anthony Gallas got Carolina off to a good start. With Logan Vick batting, the runners advanced to second and third on a passed ball by catcher Tyler Tewell. Vick then singled to right that scored Lucas and Gallas to give Carolina a 3-2 lead.
Lynchburg posted a big sixth inning and threatened to pull away from the Mudcats late. Levi Hyams reached base on a walk and made it to third after a line drive from David Nick was misplayed by outfielder Luigi Rodriguez. Nick took second base on the error which was the third of the game for Carolina. Cole Sulser then forced Will Skinner into a ground out and intentionally walked Tyler Tewell in hopes of a better match up with Edison Sanchez. Sulser struck out Sanchez and was one out away from getting out of the jam before he walked Garcia which tied the game and left the bases loaded.
Scooter Tucker brought Grant Sides into the game to relieve Sulser and get the Mudcats out of the inning but things did not go as planned. Sides gave up a bases clearing triple to Castro that scored another three runs and made it a 6-3 game.
The Mudcats tallied eleven total hits in the game and held Lynchburg to only six, but five total errors played a major factor in the game and has become a reoccurring theme in the past few weeks.
Carolina is set to travel to Salem, Va., to take on the Salem Red Sox on Thursday night. Shawn Morimondo (3-1) is set to start for the Mudcats.
Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.