Carolina Mudcats sweep Myrtle Beach Pelicans in double header
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. –– The Carolina Mudcats secured two important wins thanks to early leads and quality pitching in both games of a double header against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Wednesday night.
The victories over the Pelicans (29-23, 73-47) bring Carolina (25-26, 54-64) within 3.5 games of the division leaders as the 2014 campaign winds down.
After earning a close win in game one, the Mudcats found themselves in another tight game with the Pelicans. Strong pitching and a late run proved to be the difference in the 6-5 win.
Carolina started the second game of the double header with another strong opening frame. Yhoxian Medina and Yandy Diaz hit back to back singles to lead off the inning and put runners on the corners. A surprising double steal attempt from the Carolina base runners paid off as Medina stole home plate and Diaz took second base.
Manager Scooter Tucker then elected to insert LeVon Washington as a pinch runner for Diaz. Washington took third on an Alex Monsalve ground out and went on to score after a costly throwing error from second baseman Christopher Bostick on a Joe Sever ground ball.
The Pelicans responded with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Chris Garcia singled up the middle to leadoff the inning and stole second base during the following at bat. Christopher Bostick made up for his first inning error by blasting a triple to the corner in right field that scored Garcia. Preston Beck grounded out to first to bring Bostick around to score the second run of the inning.
But Carolina would regain the lead in the top of the second thanks to a big hit from Jerrud Sabourin. The Mudcats set up their hot hitting first baseman by loading the bases behind two walks and a Yhoxian Medina double to left. Sabourin took advantage of the opportunity with a bases-clearing double that scored three runs and put the Mudcats on top 5-3.
The Pelicans attempted to rally in the sixth with a Nick Williams score on a wild pitch but Carolina put the brakes on the comeback in the following inning.
Joe Sever blasted a double to left that scored Alex Monsalve to give Carolina a two run cushion going into the final frame.
The run would prove to be the difference as Christopher Bostick sent his second triple of the game to deep center to score Luis Mendez from first in the bottom of the seventh.
With the tying run on third, Carolina’s Grant Sides stood his ground and recorded to strike outs to end the game and earn his fifth save of the year.
Carolina’s Dylan Baker (3-2, 5.27) went 5.1 innings and allowed just four earned runs off of five hits against the hard hitting Pelicans. The right hander struck out five Pelican batters on his way to the win.
Myrtle Beach starter Cody Buckel (3-6, 6.27) shouldered the loss after surrendering four earned runs off of six hits in just 2.1 short innings.
In the first seven inning tilt, the Mudcats relied on a complete game from Ryan Merritt and a quick start to earn a 3-2 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
Merritt (12-3, 2.55) took the win after allowing just one earned run off of five hits in seven innings of play. The Carolina ace struck out five Pelican batters without giving up a walk on his way to his second complete game of the season.
The Mudcats provided Merritt all the run support he needed in a three run first inning. With Yhoxian Medina and Yandy Diaz on base after a single and a walk, Jerrud Sabourin knocked a ground rule double over the wall in left center to score a run. Alex Monsalve followed it up with a ground out to first that scored Diaz and a Joe Sever sac fly scored Sabourin from third a few pitches later.
The Pelicans held the Mudcats scoreless for the remainder of the game, but the damage was done and a comeback was nearly impossible with Merritt on the mound. A third inning home run from Chris Garcia and another score in the sixth inning was all Myrtle Beach could muster.
Jerrud Sabourin produced star performances in both games of the double header. On the night, Sabourin went 4-5 with four RBI.
Carolina continues their series with the Pelicans on Thursday night. Adam Plutko is set to start for the Mudcats.
Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.