ZEBULON- The Carolina Mudcats (29-31) lost both games of the doubleheader to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (30-30) Saturday by a tally of 3-0 in the first, and 8-1 in the second.
The Pelicans put together a two out rally in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead to start the game. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Cooper gave up a single to left fielder Jared Hoying. Hoying stole second, giving third baseman Christian Villanueva an RBI opportunity. Villanueva drove a ball of the left field wall for a double as Hoying came around to score. Cooper got out of the inning as he picked off Villanueva at second.
Cooper surrendered another run to the Pelicans in the third increasing the lead to 2-0. Shortstop Odubel Herrera singled up the middle allowing Castillo to come around to score. Cooper would get out of the inning, inducing a ground ball double play by left fielder.
The Pelicans tacked on another run to push the lead to 3-0, but Cooper limited the damage in the fourth. Hoying was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and much like the first he went ahead and stole second. Villanueva singled to center, and Hoying stopped at third on the play. Catcher Brett Nicholas singled to righ,t scoring Hoying. DH Tomas Telis layed down a sacrifice bunt moving the runners over. However Cooper got out of the jam, striking out centerfielder Jake Skole and got second baseman Santiago Chrino to line out to right.
The Pelican offense went the way of the Mudcats as they found it hard to get anything going once Mudcats starter Cooper left the game. The Mudcat bullpen pitched three scoreless innings in relief behind Cooper to keep the Mudcats in the game. Kyle Petter (1 and 2/3 innings) and Dale Dickerson (1 and 1/3 innings) turned in quality outings, but they were outdueled by Tepesch, who pitched his first career complete game, albeit in a seven inning game.
The Mudcats were handled rather easily in the second game as the Pelicans again scored early as they took a 1-0 lead in the first, and then never looked back. The Pelicans took an early 1-0 lead as the scored a run to open the game in the top of the first off Mudcats starter Francisco Jimenez. Herrera led off the inning with a single to left. Herrera then took off for second, and an errant throw by catcher Jake Lowery over the head of second baseman Tony Wolters allowed Herrera to move to third. Third baseman Edwin Garcia, who didn’t play in the first game, drove Herrera in on a sac fly to center.
A wild pitch by Jimenez in the third helped the Pelicans push across another run in the third giving them a 2-0 lead. After a one out single by Castillo, a wild pitch by Jimenez allowed Castillo to move up to second. Herrera then followed the wild pitch with a single to left allowing Castillo to move to third. Garcia hit a sac fly to center to score Castillo. Jimenez picked off Herrera to end the inning.
Garcia drove in another run in the fifth, his third RBI of the game, to give the Pelicans a 3-0 lead. Castillo doubled to right center with one out and then moved to third on an infield single by Herrera. Garcia drove in Castillo with a single to center as Herrera moved to second. Jimenez walked Hoying to load up the bases, which brought out Rodriguez from the dugout. After the mound visit, Jimenez induced a fly out to right by Telis, who was catching the second game, to end the inning
The Pelicans batted around in the sixth as they blew the game open, scoring five runs to take a 8-0 lead. JD Reichenbach came in for Jimenez and was greeted rudely. Skole led off the inning with a double to right. Following a strikeout by right fielder Josh Richomond, a wild pitch allowed Skole to move to third. Skole scored on a groundout by second baseman Santiago Chirino. Castillo drew a walk and then Herrera picked up his fourth hit of the game. Garcia came up and added to his RBI total in game as he drove a three run home run over the left field wall to push his RBI total for the game to six. It looked like the Mudcats would get out of the inning but an error by first baseman Jesus Aguilar allowed Hoying to reach. Telis then doubled, moving Hoying to third ending Reichenbachs outing. Jose Flores came in and surrendered a hit to DH Vinny DiFazio which allowed Hoying to score. The Mudcats finally got out of the inning as Skole struck out in his second at bat of the inning.
Center fielder Delvi Cid ended the no hit bid as he hit his first home run of the year to lead off the sixth off reliever Zach Osborne. The Mudcats followed the home run with two more singles by DH Tyler Holt and second baseman Tony Wolters but the Mudcats were unable to get anything else going as back to back strikeouts of Aguilar and right fielder Carlos Moncrief killed the rally. Left fielder Anthony Gallas flew out to center to end the inning as the Mudcats were only able to make up one run as they trailed 8-1 after six and never got any closer.
“You have to tip your hat. This is a very tough home stand we just came from Wilmington [Deleware] and usually the second day is the one that hits you and today was the second day, we were trying hard it just wasnt there” said Rodriguez.
“Our pitchers kept us in both games until the last two innings of the second game but the offense wasn’t their today” said manager Edwin Rodriguez
The Mudcats will look to bounce back Sunday as they again take on the Pelicans at 2:00 at Five County Stadium.