Mudcats downed by the Nationals, 2-1
Carolina managed just three hits, but had two errors in Saturday's one-run loss.
WOODBRIDGE, VA – A ninth inning score proved to be too little too late as the Carolina Mudcats were downed 2-1 by the Potomac Nationals on Saturday night.
After being held to one hit through the first eight innings, the Mudcats finally found their swing in the ninth inning.
Down by two runs, Yandy Diaz tripled to left and was scored by a Jerrud Sabourin RBI single. With the tying run on first and the go ahead run at the plate, Carolina looked poised to force extra innings despite playing poorly for most of the game. But an Alex Monsalve ground out and a Joe Sever strike out brought a quick end to the Carolina comeback attempt.
Potomac’s starter, Ian Dickson (4-9, 4.78), pitched a gem in which he tossed 8.0 innings and gave up just a single hit to the Mudcats. The big right hander walked two and fanned eight batters on his way to the win.
Carolina’s only hit off of the right hander came in the top of the second when LeVon Washington singled on a ground ball to right with two outs.
D.J. Brown (2-7, 4.41) shouldered the loss after he allowed one earned run off of six hits in 6.0 innings of play. Carolina’s starter allowed just one walk while striking out five Nationals batters.
While Brown produced another quality outing, a costly error in the bottom of the fourth allowed the Nationals to score the run that would eventually prove to be the difference.
Benny Suarez was called in to relieve Brown in the bottom of the seventh and he went on to hurl 2.0 scoreless innings while giving up just two hits.
The Nationals opened the scoring in the bottom of the third with a solo shot from Pedro Severino that cleared the left field wall.
Carolina attempted to respond in the top of the fourth but a lack of offensive production made things difficult for Scooter Tucker’s ball club. Jerrud Sabourin earned a leadoff walk and took second on a wild pitch from Ian Dickson but a ground ball from Alex Monsalve resulted in a fielder’s choice out at third that put the brakes on the Mudcats attack. Dickson finished it off by forcing a Joe Sever pop up and a strike out of Eric Haase.
Potomac doubled their lead in the bottom of the fourth thanks to poor play from Carolina’s left fielder LeVon Washington. After recording two outs, Khayyan Norfork earned a walk and then scored on an Estarlin Martinezsingle to left that was misplayed by Washington.
In a game of few runs, Washington’s error and the resulting score came to be the deciding moment in Saturday night’s ball game.
The loss drops the Mudcats to 25-29 during the second half and 54-67 on the year.
Daniel is a communication and broadcast media major at North Carolina State University.