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Morimando shines, but Mudcat bats struggle in 5-1 loss

Morimando gave up only one hit in six innings of work in the loss to the Blue Rocks.

Morimando shines, but Mudcat bats struggle in 5-1 loss
Carolina starting pitcher Shawn Morimando pitched a gem on Saturday. The lefty hurled six innings of one-hit baseball with just two walks and six strikeouts, but got little run support from the Mudcat bats. (Photo credit: Tony Lastoria)
June 15, 2014
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WILMINGTON, DE - A brilliant performance from starter Shawn Morimando wasn't enough as the Carolina Mudcats fell 5-1 to the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Saturday night. After taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth, the Mudcats bullpen allowed six consecutive Blue Rock scores, which, ultimately, proved to be too much to overcome. 

Morimando (6-2, 3.13) gave up only one hit in 6.0 innings of play during one of his best outings of the season. The southpaw held Wilmington scoreless and struck out six batters on his way to a no decision.

Mormiando was left without any run support as the Mudcats went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left thirteen runners on base against the Blue Rocks.

Wilmington finished 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position, showing success where the Mudcats failed.

Aroni Nina (2-0, 7.91) took the win after pitching 2.1 innings of relief for the Blue Rocks. Nina allowed only one earned run and two hits while striking out four Carolina batters.

With Benny Suarez in to relieve Shawn Morimando, the Wilmington Blue Rocks scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead over the Mudcats. A Cody Stubbs double to left scored Michael Antonio from first to tie the game and a single from Zane Evans plated Stubbs for a 2-1 lead. Evans followed it up by stealing second base and scoring on a Kenny Diekroeger single up the middle.

Scooter Tucker had seen enough from Suarez and brought in Josh Martin to record the final out of the inning.

Martin nearly forced Terrance Gore into a ground out but the ball bounced off the glove of second baseman Yhoxian Medina and into the outfield. Diekroeger was able to score on the play which put the Blue Rocks up by three runs.

Suarez was credited with a blown save after tossing 0.2 innings and surrendering four earned runs off of four hits.

The Mudcats looked to rally in the top of the eighth against relief pitcher Mark Peterson. With Joe Sever and Luigi Rodriguez at third and second, LeVon Washington took a walk to load the bases and give Carolina some life. But Peterson would respond by forcing Todd Hankins into a strike out that ended the inning.

Wilmington added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to put the game out of reach. Bubba Starling earned a leadoff walk and scored on a Hunter Dozier double to left for the first run of the inning. A sac fly later in the inning plated Dozier and put the Blue Rocks on top 6-1.

All told the Carolina bullpen allowed six earned runs in 2.0 combined innings of play.

The Carolina Mudcats only score came in the top of the sixth. After loading the bases behind a Joe Sever single and walks of Jeremy Lucas and Luigi Rodriguez, Carolina's Yhoxian Medina earned another walk to force Lucas home to make it 1-0.

Batters Ryan Battaglia and LeVon Washington were fanned by Wilmington's Zeb Need to end the inning and pull the Blue Rock's out of the jam.

Carolina falls to 29-37 on the year while Wilmington improves to 32-35.

The Mudcats will finish the first half of the 2014 campaign on Sunday at Wilmington before heading into the All-Star break. D.J. Brown is scheduled to start for Carolina and will face Glenn Sparkman.

Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.

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