Dash blank Mudcats 1-0
WINSTON-SALEM - Friday the 13th proved to be an unlucky day for the Carolina Mudcats as they failed to score a single run, losing their first road game of the season to their in-state rivals the Winston-Salem Dash, 1-0.
The Mudcats out hit Winston-Salem seven to three, but they left nine runners stranded on the bases. Dash starting pitcher Andre Rienzo threw six innings allowing six hits while striking out nine batters. Never yielding a single run, Rienzo forced Carolina batters to pop up or ground out all night long.
Not to be out done, Carolina starting pitcher left-hander Mike Rayl turned in a dominating performance as well. Allowing only two hits, Rayl lasted seven innings and struck out five of his own.
Friday night’s game was a pitcher’s duel with neither man allowing a run, and it was not until Winston-Salem came up to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning that the tide began to turn.
Rayl came back to the mound in the seventh after retiring the side in the bottom of the sixth. His critical mistake came when he gave up a walk to the lead-off batter; something he had not done all night. With Dash second baseman Carlos Sanchez at first, center fielder Trayce Thompson stepped in and delivered a sacrifice bunt that allowed Sanchez to reach second base.
With two strikeouts against Rayl already, Dash first baseman Dan Black singled on a line drive to center field scoring Sanchez from second. Rayl quickly got out of the inning when the next batter grounded into a double play, but the damage had already been done.
With only two more opportunities to bat, Carolina needed to find some offense in a hurry. However, Dash pitchers Jon Bachanov and Leroy Hunt were able to come in and stifle any last minute attempts by Carolina.
With the loss, the Mudcats still remain above .500 at 4-3; however, they need some solid wins to remain in control of the Southern Division of the Carolina League.
The Mudcats resume play on Saturday, April 14th at 7:00 PM as they face the Winston-Salem Dash for game two of their three game road trip to Western North Carolina.