Mudcats blow 9th inning lead, lose 7-6
Salem, VA – The Salem Red Sox scored three runs, with two outs, in the bottom of the ninth to drop the Carolina Mudcats 7-6 on Wednesday night at LewisGale Field.
Salem (18-27, 59-55) appeared down to the end with Xander Bogaerts at the plate and trailing 6-4. Against reliever Grant Sides (2-1), the shortstop smacked an 0-2 pitch off the right field wall for a run-scoring triple. With the tying run now at third, Sean Coyle smoked a line drive to right, tying the game 6-6. A walk and a close play at first loaded the bases, and a wild pitch allowed the winning run to score.
The heartbreaker drops Carolina to 23-22 in the second half, 55-60 overall. The loss was only the fourth for the Mudcats when leading after eight innings.
Pete Ruiz (5-2) was credited the win after the miraculous comeback. The right-hander pitched one inning, allowing a hit and striking out two.
The late collapse spoiled a powerful night for the Mudcats offense. For only the second time this season, the Carolina sent four long balls out of the ballpark in one game.
Jesus Aguilar sent the first one over, crushing a three-run blast to right for a 3-2 lead in the fourth. After falling behind 4-3, Giovanny Urshela and Ronny Rodriguez launched missiles over the left field wall in the sixth inning for a 5-4 edge. Carolina’s final run came off the bat of Tony Wolters. The Mudcats’ second baseman cracked one over and out to right for a 6-4 lead.
The Carolina Mudcats and Salem Red Sox tango for a final time this season at LewisGale Field Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.