Mudcats fall in back-and-forth affair, 8-7
Carolina 3B Yandy Diaz went 5-for-5 with a double and scored a run in the loss.
WINSTON-SALEM, NC — In a back-and-forth game, the Carolina Mudcats dropped the rubber match of their weekend series with the Winston-Salem Dash losing 8-7 Sunday.
Winston-Salem escaped with the win despite being outhit by the Mudcats 15 to 10. Third baseman Yandy Diaz led the Carolina offense with a five-hit effort, but it wasn’t enough as Jason Coates tortured the Mudcats pitching staff with two homeruns and five runs driven in for the Dash.
The Dash jumped out to an early lead off Carolina starter Adam Plutko thanks to the first of Coates’ long balls. The right fielder homered to left center in the bottom of the first bringing in Tim Anderson and Jacob May to give Winston-Salem a 3-0 advantage.
Anthony Gallas got the Mudcats on the board in the top of the third with the first of his four RBI. After Todd Hankins singled, stole second and advanced to third on a Diaz single, Gallas singled to center off Dash starter Tyler Danish making it 3-1.
However, Winston-Salem quickly regained their three-run advantage in the bottom of the inning thanks to a leadoff homerun from Tim Anderson to put the Dash up 4-1.
But the Carolina bats came alive in the top of the fourth as the Mudcats took the lead with a six-run explosion.James Roberts started the inning with a single before coming home on a Luigi Rodriguez double. After Yhoxian Medina and Hankins were retired, a crucial fielding error by Anderson allowed Joe Sever to reach first, while Rodriguez came in to score.
The Dash turned to Jefferson Olacio to get out of the inning, but the southpaw failed to record a single out. Diaz welcomed Olacio to the game with a base hit to put two on for Gallas. The right fielder cleared the bases with a three-run homer before Alex Monsalve followed with his second homerun of the year as the Mudcats jumped to a 7-4 lead.
After Olacio walked the next batter, Jerrud Sabourin, a one hour and 47 minute rain delay brought his day to a merciful end. The lengthy delay also ended Plutko’s outing, as the right-hander earned no decision after allowing four runs on four hits in three innings of work.
Following the delay, Carolina turned to Rob Nixon (1-4, 5.20 ERA) in relief. Nixon was saddled with the loss after he gave up four runs in the, ultimately, decisive bottom of the fifth.
With Anderson on third and two outs, Courtney Hawkins started the scoring for the Dash with a RBI double down the left field line. Coats followed by bringing in Hawkins via his second homer of the afternoon. A Joey DeMichele double kept Winston-Salem’s threat alive before Keon Barnum singled to left scoring DeMichele, who proved to be the game’s winning run.
Brad Goldberg (2-4, 5.17 ERA) earned the win for the Dash shutting out the Mudcats in 3.2 innings of relief.
The Mudcats missed a golden opportunity to draw even or take the lead in the top of the eighth. Sever singled before a Diaz double put two Mudcats in scoring position with only one out. However, Carolina failed to capitalize as Goldberg forced Gallas to pop out before Monsalve grounded out to end the inning as Winston-Salem clung to their slim advantage.
The loss drops Carolina to 27-34, while Winston-Salem improves to 26-36 and moves within a game and a half of the Mudcats for third place in the Carolina League’s Southern Division.
The Mudcats return home for a three-game series with the Potomac Nationals, the current leaders of the Northern Division.