Mudcats bats go silent, Potomac takes series with 5-1 win
Carolina offense falls short as Nationals get to Anderson
POTOMAC- The Carolina Mudcats fell behind early and did not get going offensively until it was too late to fall to the Potomac Nationals 5-1 on Thursday night.
The loss drops the Mudcats record to 11-16 after the Nationals took three out of four games.
Mudcats starting pitcher Cody Anderson struggled early but settled down to throw six innings, giving up 11 hits, five runs, all earned, with five strikeouts, one hit batsmen, but no batters walked.
In contrast, Nationals starting pitcher Taylor Jordan was dominant from the beginning, pitching a season-high eight innings, giving up only five hits and no runs. Jordan also struck out four and walked one.
Potomac got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning after Anderson gave up a single to the first batter and balked him over to second base. After striking out the second batter, Anderson gave up consecutive singles to allow the Nationals to take a one-run lead, but the threat stopped there.
The Nationals added to their early lead in the second inning with three consecutive singles, a sacrifice fly, and a double to knock in three more runs to take the lead to 4-0.
The Mudcats couldn’t get anything going early offensively. Right fielder Jordan Smith singled to start the second inning but was out at second on a force out by left fielder Luigi Rodriguez. First baseman Jerrud Sabourin singled to start the fourth inning, but Smith grounded into a double play to wipe the bases clean.
Anderson gave up a home run to the first batter in the bottom of the fourth to stretch Nationals' lead to five.
Rodriguez collected his first hit with the Mudcats to start the fifth inning, but the bases were wiped clean on a double play by third baseman Justin Toole.
It looked as though the Mudcats would finally get going on offense in the sixth inning. Designated hitter Zach MacPhee walked to start the inning, but center fielder Tyler Naquin flew out to center field for the first out. Shortstop Francisco Lindor grounded out to second base, where MacPhee was forced out, but Lindor himself was safe at first. Sabourin grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.
Left handed relief pitcher Francisco Jimenez pitched a perfect seventh inning before turning it over to right hander Michael Goodnight for the eighth inning. Goodnight pitched a shutout inning to keep the Mudcats within five.
Toole extended his hitting streak to a season-high eight games with a single to start the eighth inning. Second baseman Yhoxian Medina advanced him to second base on a ground out to third base. This was the first time the Mudcats advanced a runner past first base in the game. Toole advanced to third base on a passed ball during Naquin’s at-bat, however he was stranded there as Naquin flew out to left field to end the inning.
Lindor led off the top of the ninth inning with single and was driven home on an RBI double by Sabourin to break up the shutout. Smith followed with a single to put runners on first and third with nobody out in the inning. Catcher Charlie Valerio came up to bat and popped out and the Nationals also picked Smith off of first base for two outs. Rodriguez struck out to end the game.
The Mudcats return to Five County Stadium on Friday for a three-game series against the Frederick Keys. Right hander Jacob Lee will get the start for Carolina with a 7:15 first pitch.
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.