Carolina Mudcats top Lynchburg Hillcats in 32-hit game
LYNCHBURG, Va. — The Carolina Mudcats surged to an 11-6 win Thursday against the Lynchburg Hillcats thanks to a 15-hit effort.
Alex Monsalve brought in four with a grand slam while Erik Gonzalez added three RBIs as the Mudcats cruised to the series victory.
Carolina had to play form behind early as Lynchburg grabbed the lead in the bottom of the first off Mudcats starter D.J. Brown. With two away, Hillcats left fielder Jose Martinez’s solo homerun gave Lynchburg a 1-0 advantage.
The Mudcats drew level in the top of the fourth. After a one-out single from Yandy Diaz, Jeremy Lucas evened the score with an RBI double down the third base line to plate Diaz.
But the Hillcats stormed back ahead in the bottom of the frame. Singles from Kevin Ahrens and Justin Bloxom put men on the corners with no outs. A double from Will Skinner scored Ahrens and advanced Bloxom to third before Levi Hyams brought in the Lynchburg designated hitter with a sacrifice fly to center. After a Tyler Tewell fly out, Lynchburg added another as David Nick’s base hit up the middle scored Skinner to put the Hillcats up 4-1.
Not to be outdone, Carolina’s offense then jumped on Lynchburg starter Wes Parsons in the top of the fifth. Luigi Rodriguez started the rally with a leadoff single before LeVon Washington reached on an error by Ahrens. Yhoxian Medina then loaded the bases with a single to right. This set the table for Gonzalez, who cleared the bases with a three-RBI triple to center. Joe Sever followed by driving in Gonzalez with a base hit putting the Mudcats up 5-4 and ending Lynchburg starter Wes Parsons’s evening.
Parsons earned no decision allowing five runs, four earned, on seven hits in 4.0 innings. The right-hander walked a pair and struck out three.
Brown also took a no decision, going 5.0 innings allowing four earned runs on eleven hits. He didn’t issue a walk and struck out two.
Lynchburg tied the game in the bottom of the sixth with reliever Clayton Cook (1-3, 5.06) on the mound for the Mudcats. Hyams earned a leadoff walk before Tewell singled to right. A sacrifice bunt from Nick then advanced the pair before Hyams scored on an Eric Garcia single.
However, the tie was short lived thanks to Monsalve’s big fly in the top of the seventh. Sever was hit by a pitch before Lucas walked and Jerrud Sabourin singled to load the bases. Monsalve then sent his grand slam over the leftfield wall as Carolina grabbed a 9-5 lead.
The Hillcats got one back in the bottom of the seventh. Martinez doubled, then moved to third on an Ahrens groundout. Bloxom followed with another groundout, allowing Martinez to score bringing the Hillcats within three.
Carolina added insurance in the ninth thanks to four consecutive singles to open the frame. Sever started with a base hit to center before Diaz followed. Lucas then joined in singling up the middle plating Sever before Diaz scored on Sabourin’s hit to right as the Mudcats took an 11-6 lead to the bottom of the ninth.
Jacob Lee closed out the Hillcats in the ninth striking out two in the process.
Carolina improves to 13-9 on the second half and 42-47 overall. The loss drops Lynchburg to 9-12 for the second half and 43-48 for all of 2014.
The Mudcats are scheduled to return home for a four-game series with the Winston-Salem Dash beginning Friday. Adam Plutko is slated to start against Angel Sanchez in a battle of righties.
First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m.