Carolina Mudcats lose both games of double header to Wilmington
WILMINGTON, Del. – The Carolina Mudcats lost in a heartbreaker to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 3-2, in the second game of Wednesday's double header.
After falling behind by two runs late, the Blue Rocks (22-22) put together three hits in the bottom of the seventh to earn the impressive come-from-behind victory.
Despite suffering the tough loss, Carolina starter Clayton Cook produced a quality start. After missing the entire 2013 season with a right shoulder injury, the right hander from Texas carried an incredible performance through 5.2 innings of play in which he allowed only one earned run off four hits and one walk.
Carolina's Louis Head was credited with the blown save after pitching one inning and allowing two earned runs on three hits and one walk.
Wilmington's Daniel Rockett managed to tally the first hit of the game for the Blue Rocks on a line drive single to left in the bottom of the third. Rockett threatened to score later in the inning after a ground out and a stolen base put the right fielder at third. Cook calmly got Terrance Gore to strike out swinging and Lopez to pop out to leave Rockett stranded and end the inning.
Carolina managed to score in the top of the fifth due to some patient at-bats and timely hits. James Roberts andYhoxian Medina both reached base on walks to open things up. Todd Hankins followed it up with a single to load the bases and Logan Vick took four balls and a walk to force Roberts home for the first run of the game. With the bases loaded, Jeremy Lucas plated another run on a groundout to first to make it 2-0.
All told, the Blue Rocks walked four Mudcats batters during the inning.
After allowing only two hits in the first five innings combined, Cook seemed to suffer from fatigue in the bottom of the sixth. The Blue Rocks strung together a couple of hits to score their first run of the night. Bubba Starling singled to left and took second on a balk from Cook. Catcher Zane Evans took advantage by sending a double to the corner in left that scored Starling from second.
The run set up the thrilling walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh.
Wilmington cruised to an easy win in the first game of the double header behind nine runs and 11 hits.
A four-run bottom of the first and a couple of two run innings in the fourth and sixth made the difference in the game, which ended 9-4 in favor of Wilmington.
Carolina (20-22) completes their series with the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Thursday morning. Ryan Merritt (5-1, 1.65) is scheduled to start for the Mudcats and will face Wilmington's Daniel Stumpf (1-6, 4.01).
Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.