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Carolina takes Frederick to extra innings, but falls 4-3

Despite tying game late, Mudcats can't hold off Keys in 10th

Carolina takes Frederick to extra innings, but falls 4-3
August 3, 2013
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ZEBULON – After tying the game late, the Carolina Mudcats lost it in the 10th inning, falling to the Frederick Keys 4-3 on Friday night.  The loss drops Carolina’s record to 22-17 in the second half, but coupled with a loss by Myrtle Beach, the Mudcats stay a half game out of first place in the division.

 Mudcats manager David Wallace hopes the team can use this loss as a learning experience and can build off of it.

“It was an ugly one.  This is a good time to take a step back and make sure we learn from some of those mistakes” said Wallace.

After allowing the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth inning, Joey Wendle singled up the middle to leadoff the tenth, and Paddy Matera walked to put runners on first and second.  Matera was pulled for pinch runner Tyler Naquin.  After Bo Greenwell popped-out for the first out, Erik Gonzalez grounded into Carolina’s fourth double play of the night to end the game. 

Concerning the four double plays, Wallace doesn’t see it as a real issue.

“It was a 50-50 thing.  Two of them were hit very hard and they made a nice play on them, and the other two were mental base running mistakes by us” said Wallace,  “It’s definitely something to learn from.”

Starting pitcher Cole Cook took the mound for the Mudcats and struggled through five innings.  Cook allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits and a walk, but also struck out two. 

Carolina jumped out front early when Matera laced an RBI double to center field to drive in center fielder Jordan Smith from second base with two outs in the first inning.  Smith singled with one out and advanced to second on a swinging bunt by second baseman Joey Wendle before Matera’s drive.

Greenwell gave the Mudcats a scare in the first inning as he fouled a ball off his left knee, but got back up on his own power and finished the at-bat.

Catcher Alex Lavisky crushed a no doubt home run off the scoreboard in left field to add to Carolina’s lead with one out in the second inning.  First baseman Jerrud Sabourin poked a single through the infield and third baseman Justin Toole walked to put two on for left fielder Bryson Myles.

Myles was hit on the foot by a pitch, and Frederick manager Ryan Minor came out to argue the call.  After a lengthy argument, the home plate umpire had had enough from Minor and ejected the manager from the game.  Smith however ended the rally by grounding into an inning ending double play.

Frederick got on the board in the third inning thanks to a two-out RBI single.  A leadoff single put the runner on, and stole second base with two outs before being driven to score the Keys first run.

The Keys took the lead in the fourth inning when Cook began having trouble with his command.  A leadoff walk and a double to right field put runners on second and third with no outs.  A sacrifice fly tied the game at two.  A wild pitch by Cook allowed the runner to advance to third and a throwing error by Lavisky brought the runner home to give Frederick their first lead of the game.

With two outs in the fifth inning, Smith reached on a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Frederick starting pitcher Tim Berry.  However, Smith was stranded there as Wendle struck out to end the inning.

Right hander Owen Dew relieved Cook in the sixth inning and kept Frederick batters in check, pitching two scoreless innings of one-hit baseball. 

For the first time on the night, Carolina got the leadoff man aboard as Matera walked in the sixth inning.  However, Greenwell grounded into the Mudcats second double play of the night to wipe the bases clean.  Shortstop Erik Gonzalez kept the inning alive with a single to right field.  Lavisky just missed his second home run of the night, as the ball hooked foul at the last second.  Gonzalez advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Lavisky struck out to end the inning.

Frederick went to the bullpen in the seventh inning.  Berry settled down against Carolina after giving up two early runs, which was all the Mudcats could get off of him.

Carolina jumped on the reliever immediately, with Sabourin slapping a single to left center on the first pitch.  Toole sacrificed Sabourin to second.  Smith reached for the third time on the night by drawing a walk with two out, but Wendle grounded out to first base to end the rally.

Right hander Josh Martin took over in the eighth and quickly ran into trouble.  With one out, Martin walked a batter before getting a strikeout for the second out.  However, the runner attempted to steal second and Lavisky’s throw sailed high over Wendle’s head who was waiting for the throw at second base.  The error allowed the runner to advance to third, but would be stranded there as the next batter grounded out to end the inning.

Wallace was disappointed in Lavisky’s performance behind the plate, but said it’s nothing he can’t bounce back from.

“The two errors by Alex were big, but he’s one of the best catchers defensively in the whole system.  Those nights are going to happen.  It was a tough night for him because he was out there cramping up, but he’ll look back at this and grow from it,” said Wallace.

Matera provided a spark for Carolina in the eighth inning by smacking a leadoff triple to right field, and Greenwell hit an RBI double down the first base line to drive in Matera and tie the game.  After a long at-bat, Gonzalez flew out to center field, and Frederick made a second call to the bullpen. 

Lavisky greeted the new pitcher by smacking a single into left field to put runners on the corners with only one out.  However, for the third time on the night, Carolina grounded into an inning ending double play, this time by Sabourin.

Martin walked the leadoff batter in the ninth, who advanced to second on a groundout to first base.  However, a strikeout and a groundout got the Mudcats out of the inning with the score tied. 

With one out in the ninth, Myles singled and advanced to second on a groundout by Smith.  However, Myles was caught in a rundown and tagged out to end the ninth.

Right hander Rob Nixon took the mound in the 10th inning and ran into trouble from the beginning.  With one out, Nixon allowed a single, followed by a double to put runners on second and third.  The next batter was intentionally walked to load the bases and the next batter hit an RBI groundout to bring in the go-ahead run. 

Carolina completes the series against the Keys on Saturday night.  Right hander Cody Anderson takes the mound for Carolina.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:15 p.m.

NOTES: Myles single in the ninth inning extended his hitting streak to 15 games, which is now the longest active streak in the Carolina League.

Zachary is a senior at NC State where he is majoring in communication-media, with minors in journalism and theatre.  You can follow him on Twitter @RealZachFrancis.

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