ZEBULON- The Carolina Mudcats (22-25) losing steak was pushed to a season high five games as they lost 8-3 to the Winston Salem-Dash (27-19), giving them the series sweep.
The story of the game was the Mudcats inability to get hits with runners in scoring position. The Mudcats went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left a total of 12 men on base. The only hit came on a two-out single with the bases loaded in the sixth by DH Jeremie Tice which gave the Mudcats a 3-2 lead. It was short-lived, even though the Dash pitching staff walked a total of 11 batters. The Mudcats just couldn’t take advantage.
The Mudcats got the scoring started, benefiting from four walks by Dash starter Jon Bachanov in the bottom of the first, as they took a 1-0 lead. Back-to-back walks off center fielder Tyler Holt and second baseman Tony Wolters started off the inning. Third baseman Giovanny Urshela then grounded into a fielder’s choice, moving Holt to third as Wolters was forced out at second. Right fielder Carlos Moncrief struck out with the bases loaded following a walk by first baseman Jeremie Tice. Catcher Jake Lowery was then able to draw a one-out walk to put a run on the board. DH Anothony Gallas then flew out to center as Bachanov was able to keep the damage limited.
The Dash would tie the game in the fourth as first baseman Dan Black would hit a towering solo shot over the right field wall to lead off the inning. The homerun tied Black with Tice for the league lead in homeruns with ten.
Bachanov would again walk the bases loaded in the fourth. After getting Rodriguez to fly out, Bachanov walked left fielder Delvi Cid, Tyler Holt and Wolters back-to-back-to-back. This would end Bachanov’s night, as the Dash turned to Steve McCray. McCray got the Dash out of the jam as the Mudcats squandered an opportunity to blow open the game. McCray struck out Urshela and then get Tice to groundout to third to end threat.
Roberts walked the bases loaded himself in the top of the fifth, but unlike the Mudcats, the Dash was able to take advantage. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Roberts walked three straight batters in shortstop Carlos Sanchez, Dan Black and Shoemaker. Following the walks right fielder Michael Earley ripped a ball down the third base line that Urshela was able to make a diving stop on, but the throw to first wasn’t in time as Earley reached on the infield hit, allowing Sanchez to come in from third putting the Dash up 2-1.
The Mudcats would finally get a big hit with runners in scoring position as Tice drove a two out single to left with the bases loaded in the sixth to put the Mudcats up 3-2. Rodriguez led off the inning with a single up the middle. Holt would then draw a walk following a pop out by Cid. A wild pitch let both runners move into scoring position. Wolters struck out giving the Dash the opportunity to once again get out of a jam unscathed. Tice was able to come up with a big two out hit to drive in Rodriguez and Cid. Tice was thrown out trying to move to second as the throw went home, but the damage had been done.
The Dash took the lead right back in the top of the seventh as they pushed across four runs giving them a 6-3 lead. An error by Rodriguez allowed the lead off man Wagner to reach to start off the inning. Following a fielder’s choice by Sanchez that forced Wagner out at second, Reichenbach walked Black and Shoemaker back-to-back to load up the bases. Earley made Reichenbach pay as he drove a single to left scoring Sanchez and Black. Blanke drove a double to left scoring Shoemaker as Earley stopped at third. Earley was thrown out at home trying to score on a groundball hit by Shelton to short. With the infield in Rodriguez was able to make a good throw to home beating Earley easily. Centerfielder Nick Ciolli was able to come up with a two-out hit to score Blanke. Reichenbach would get out of the inning as third baseman Juan Silverio flew out to center.
Dale Dickerson came in during the eighth for the Mudcats and the Dash would put across a run against him, pushing the lead to 7-3. Two walks and a two-out hit loaded the bases up with two outs for Blanke. Blanke hit what seemed like a routine groundball to second. Wolters flipped the ball to Rodriguez who was late in covering second, allowing everyone to reach safely as Wagner who led off the inning with a walk came in to score.
The Dash would take on another run in the ninth of Dickerson. Wagner doubled and then was able to score on a single by Sanchez to center.
Mudcat starter Will Roberts gave up only two runs over five innings, but did give up four walks. The real damage came off the Mudcat bullpen as J.D Reichenbach and Dale Dickerson both game up two runs in their two innings of work both walking two.
“Guys seemed to be nibbling a lot instead of being in an attack mode,” said pitching coach Scott Erickson. “They’re getting into hitters counts and things don’t go your way when you,re behind 2-1, 3-0 but hopefully things will turn around here in a little bit.”
“Everyone seemed to be in a little bit of a funk” said Erickson after the game. The Mudcats will look to get back on track on Monday as they start a series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks at Five County Stadium at 4:00.