Mudcats fall to Winston-Salem 7-5
ZEBULON- The Carolina Mudcats (22-23) returned home following a rough road trip, where the Mudcats lost both series and compiled a 2-4 record, to take on the Winston Salem-Dash (25-19).
The Mudcats fell to the Dash 7-5.
Mudcat starter Francisco Jimenez found it hard to retire the lead off hitters in innings as three straight lead off home runs in the second, third and fourth gave the Dash an early 3-0 lead, two of those were by first baseman Dan Black and the other by third baseman Juan Silverio, his first home run of the year. A leadoff triple in the fifth would turn into a three run inning giving the Dash a 6-0 lead. They would tack on another run in the eighth off Mudcat reliever Jordon Cooper.
Jimenez turned in one of his worst outings of the year as he gave up six runs on nine hits through five innings.
“The good thing about Jimenez was that he was throwing strikes, but the location was very bad," manager Edwin Rodriguez said after the game. "His secondary pitches weren’t working for him today so he had to rely on his fastball but overall if your secondary pitches aren’t working you are going to have a bad day.”
The Mudcats put together a late rally as they scored four runs in the eighth inning. A triple by first baseman Jesus Aguilar scored two and a double by right fielder Carlos Moncrief scoring Aguilar highlighted the inning. The Mudcats rally fell short however as they were unable to get anything going of Dash closer Nick McCully who was brought in to stop the bleeding.
Rodriguez believed that the off day before had a lot to do with the rough start.
"We came in after a day off, the first five innings we were getting a feel for the game but its good to see the team fighting out their and not giving up.”
In the bottom of the first center fielder Tyler Holt smacked a liner back up the middle to lead off the inning. The liner hit Dash starter Jake Petricka in his right arm, his pitching arm. This ended the night for Petricka after just one pitch, even though it seemed as though he wanted to continue. The Dash brought in Justin Collop out of the pen to replace Petricka. Collop turned in an impressive outing as he went five scoreless innings, striking out seven while gave up only three hits.
“[Collop] did great; he knows what he’s doing out there," said Rodriguez. "He was able to throw his secondary pitches for strikes in all counts and when you can do that you are going to be successful.”
After giving up lead off home runs in the second, third and fourth Jimenez continued to struggle to keep the lead off man off base but this time the Dash wouldn’t stop with the lead off man. Silverio led off the fifth inning with a triple off the center field wall. With the infield pulled in second baseman Daniel Wagner blooped a single into shallow left scoring Silverio. Following a pop out by center fielder Trayce Thompson, shortstop Carlos Sanchez singled on a ball that hit the umpire keeping Wagner from advancing past second.
Following a wild pitch that allowed Wagner and Sanchez to move up Wagner drew a walk. DH Brady Shoemaker then drove a ball to medium right allowing Wagner to score and Sanchez to move to third. Sanchez then scored on a two out double by catcher Mike Blanke off the left field wall. Jimenez finally got out of the inning as he induced a groundout by left fielder Michael Earley but the damage was done as the Dash took a 6-0 lead into the bottom of the third.
Kyle Petter came in for Jimenez in the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings and was the only Mudcat pitcher in the game to not surrender a run.
The Mudcats finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh off Dash reliever Chris Bassitt as Carlos Moncrief hit a solo homer over the right field wall to cut the defecit at 6-1 after seven.
Jordon Cooper came in for the Mudcats in the eighth and the Dash put together a two out rally against him. A double by Earley down the left field line was then followed by a triple by right fielder Nick Ciolli easily scoring Earley from second giving the Dash a 7-1 lead.
Taylor Thompson came in for the Dash in the eighth and got rocked. Second baseman Tony Wolters led off the inning with a double and then third baseman Giovanny Urshela drew a walk. Aguilar then hit his first triple of the season off the right field wall scoring both Wolters and Urshela. Thompson struck out Tice, but Moncrief came up and drilled a ball off the left field wall for a double scoring Aguilar and prompting a pitching change as the Dash brought in Nick McCully. Moncrief then stole third with catcher Jake Lowery batting. Lowery then pulled a grounder to second to score Moncrief. McCully got out of the inning without any other damage as he struck out shortstop Ronny Rodriguez, but the Mudcats cut the deficit to 7-5 heading into the ninth.
The Mudcats look to get back on track as they again face off against the Dash on Saturday at 6:15 at Five County Stadium.