Childs drives Mudcats to victory, 9-5
ZEBULON- The Carolina Mudcats (25-24), behind a huge night from catcher Dwight Childs, beat the Frederick Keys (23-25) 9-5 on Monday night to open a three game series.
Righty Michael Goodnight took the mound for the Mudcats and struggled to find his command as he walked five batters in just four and one third innings of work. Goodnight paid for his wildness as he surrendered five runs in his short outing.
“He was struggling with his release point," manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "His fastball and breaking ball were good but it was just the command. He battled out there tonight and kept us in the game."
The bullpen was a totally different story for the Mudcats as they came in and shut down the Keys offense. JD Reichenbach was the first man out of the pen as he tossed two and two third scoreless innings and was followed by scoreless innings by Fabio Martinez and Kyle Blair.
“We needed that from the bullpen," Rodriguez said. "We are running short on starting pitchers, so we needed the bullpen to step up. JD, Blair and Martinez all did a good job."
The Mudcats bats kept them in the game as they were able to overcome the ineffective start by Goodnight. Childs led the charge with four RBIs on the night on three hits as the Mudcats pushed across six runs on eight hits against Keys starter Matt Bywater.
“It’s good to see Dwight having this kind of night," Rodriguez said. "He’s been outstanding for us both defensively and in the clubhouse. Not only did he have three hits tonight but they were clutch hits. He was the game changer tonight."
Shortstop Ronny Rodriguez also recorded three hits in the game and was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
A lead off walk to right fielder Brenden Webb in the second ended up hurting Goodnight as the Keys pushed across two in the inning. Following a line out by catcher Allan de San Miguel, Webb stole second and then left fielder Steve Bumbry came through with an RBI single to center to drive in Webb. Bumbry then scored when third baseman Michael Mosby doubled to left center to put the Keys up 2-0.
The Mudcats came right back in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game at two. Shortstop Ronny Rodriguez got the rally started as he lined a one out double to right center. First baseman Tyler Cannon followed the double with a single to center pushing Rodriguez to third. Designated hitter Todd Hankins drew a walk to load up the bases for Childs who came through with a bloop single to center to bring home Rodriguez and Cannon.
The scoring continued into the third as Goodnight surrendered three more runs as the Keys took the lead right back. First baseman Tyler Townsend led off the inning with a single to right. Following a strikeout, Webb drew a walk to put two runners on for San Miguel. Miguel drove a ball deep to left for a double bringing home both Townsend and Webb. Goodnight then struck out Bumbry to bring third baseman Michael Mosby to the plate with two outs. Mosby came through with a two out double to bring home San Miguel for the third run of the game.
The first five Mudcats reached to start the fourth inning, including two home runs as the Mudcats broke out for four runs and took the lead for good while chasing Bywater from the game. Rodriguez led off the inning with a towering solo shot to left. Cannon then came up and smacked a double off the left field wall and then trotted home as Hankins hammered a ball over the left field wall to tie the game. The Mudcats weren’t done though as Childs singled to right and then moved to third on a double by center fielder Delvi Cid. One batter later Aguilar grounded out to short to drive in Childs as they Mudcats took their first lead off the game 6-5.
The Mudcats loaded up the bases in the fifth inning and scored three runs to go up 9-5. With the bases loaded Childs came up and continued his solid night as he drove a ball off the base of the wall in left for a two-run double. Cid came up and drove an RBI single of his own to close the scoring.
The Mudcats will look to continue to hit the ball well as they again face off against the Keys on Tuesday at 7:15 at Five County Stadium.
Note: In the bottom of the third right fielder Bo Greenwell fouled off a ball resulting in his removal from the game. It was later announced that Greenwell dislocated his shoulder and the amount of time he may miss is unknown.