Jimenez, Mudcats shut down Pelicans 6-0
MYRTLE BEACH - The Carolina Mudcats first visit to South Carolina resulted in a 6-0 shutout victory on Tuesday night over the host Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
Mudcats’ starting pitcher Francisco Jimenez grabbed his third win of the season following a strong six inning performance where he allowed only three hits while striking out six batters. Reliever J.D. Reichenbach pitched a solid inning of relief and closer Trey Haley finished off the Pelicans with two strikeouts over a pair of innings.
The Mudcats struggled in the first four innings against Myrtle Beach starting pitcher Wilmer Font. With five strikeouts and no hits surrendered, Font was very effective against Carolina’s offense until the top of the fifth inning.
The first batter in the fifth was Mudcats’ first baseman Jesus Aguilar who was able to draw a walk from Font. Following the walk, Font allowed Carolina designated hitter Jeremie Tice to drive his ninth double of the season to left field and Aguilar sped around the bases to make it a 1-0 game.
With a runner at second, Font got Mudcats’ catcher Jake Lowery and second baseman Ronny Rodriguez to fly out. Myrtle Beach manager Jason Wood decided to take Font out of the game in favor of reliever Randol Rojas which proved to be a questionable decision.
The first batter Rojas faced was Mudcats’ third baseman Justin Toole who quickly drove a single to center field scoring Tice from second making it 2-0 Carolina. Rojas got the third out, but the Mudcats offense quickly was back to work in the sixth.
Carolina center fielder Tyler Holt singled off Rojas to get the inning started but shortstop Tony Wolters failed to advance him when he struck out.
With his only hit of the night, Mudcats’ right fielder Carlos Moncrief blasted a two run homer to right field that blew the game wide open. Rojas pitched his way out of the inning with no more runs allowed, but the 4-0 Carolina lead was a problem with no offense coming from the Myrtle Beach batters.
Carolina worked their way through two Pelican pitchers in the top of the ninth scoring two insurance runs off four hits and a walk to earn a 6-0 win.
At 16-14, the Mudcats are now in third place in the Southern Division of the Carolina league and challenging the Salem Red Sox for the number two spot.
Carolina continues their three game road trip to Myrtle Beach with game two against the Pelicans at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday night.