Morimando digs too deep a hole for Mudcats to overcome
Myrtle Beach comes out swinging early in 9-3 rout of Carolina
MYRTLE BEACH – After falling behind in the first inning, Carolina was never able to recover and fell to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 9-3 on Sunday night. Carolina has one game left in the regular season, and will play Myrtle Beach in the season finale for both teams on Monday night.
Left hander Shawn Morimando started his final game of the 2013 season, and struggled mightily from the beginning. Morimando made it through only two innings, giving up seven runs on six hits and six walks.
The Pelicans struck first, in the bottom of the first inning. A single followed by a walk and another single loaded the bases with no outs. A sacrifice fly brought home the first run of the game to give Myrtle Beach the lead. A single allowed a second run to score, and put runners and second and third with only one out. A second walk in the inning loaded the bases again, and a groundout allowed a third run to score, but got the second out of the inning. With runners at the corners, a two-RBI double cleared the bases, and the Pelicans grabbed a 5-0 lead after the opening inning.
Carolina cut into the lead in the second inning after designated hitter Paddy Matera singled with one out in the inning, and right fielder Logan Vick hit a ground-rule double to put runners and second and third. With two outs, catcher Alex Lavisky hit a two-RBI single to right field to score both Matera and Vick to cut the Myrtle Beach lead to three.
As soon as the Mudcats had cut the lead to three, the Pelicans put it right back to five, by putting up a two run inning of their own. Back-to-back walks followed by a single to start the inning loaded the bases, and a second straight single brought home the first run, and kept the bases loaded. A sacrifice fly brought home a second run, and Myrtle Beach put the lead right back to five.
Myrtle Beach brought a pitcher out of the bullpen to open the third inning, and Carolina scored off of him early. Second baseman Joey Wendle hit a ground-rule double, and center fielder Jordan Smith singled to put runners on the corners with one out. After Matera struck out, Vick hit and RBI single to score Wendle and put runners at the corners with two outs before first baseman Jerrud Sabourin flew out to left field to end the inning.
After Morimando walked back-to-back batters to lead off the third inning, right hander Owen Dew came out of the bullpen to help Carolina escape from the jam. After getting the first batter he faced to fly out to left field, Lavisky picked off a runner attempting to steal second base. Dew induced an inning ending groundout to help the Mudcats escape the inning without surrendering another run.
Tony Wolters played shortstop for the first time on the season during the game. Wolters was drafted as a shortstop in 2010 before converting to shortstop at the beginning of this season.
Right hander Grant Sides made his first appearance with Carolina since being promoted from Lake County earlier in the week.
Both teams went scoreless until the bottom of the eighth inning when Myrtle Beach added to their lead. Right hander Louis Head relieved Sides, and struggled from the first pitch. Three straight singles to lead-off the inning scored a run, and put runners on first and third. The next batter grounded into a double play, but another run scored to push the Pelicans lead to six.
Carolina plays for the final time in the 2013 season on Monday night. Right hander Joe Colon gets the start in the season finale with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
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.