Mudcats lose second straight
ZEBULON- The Carolina Mudcats (21-19) fell for the second straight night, losing to the Lynchburg Hillcats (19-21) 7-2.
Each time the Mudcats would tie the game, the Hillcats would go right back in front in the next half inning.
“It’s not good to keep falling behind like that, and that’s what happened tonight,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said.
Will Roberts got the start for the Mudcats and he would struggle early as he gave up two runs in the first two innings. He would later settle down in the middle of his outing before giving up two runs in his final inning of work.
“Roberts was up and down tonight, he kept us in the game, (but) our offense didn’t come through,” Rodriguez said. Roberts ended the night after the sixth as he went six innings giving up four runs on six hits.
For the second straight night, however, the Mudcats’ bats were stifled. Gus Schlosser turned in a solid start as he went five innings and gave up two runs on four hits to pick up his 12th win on the year. The Hillcat bullpen was fantastic however as they combined to pitch four scoreless innings while only surrendering one hit.
Roberts hit the first batter he faced in center fielder Mycal Jones and the miscue would come back to hurt him as Jones eventually came around to score. After Roberts would retire the next two hitters, Jones put himself in scoring position by stealing second. First baseman Chris Garcia would then yank a two-out double down the right field line to drive in Jones.
The Mudcats wouldn’t be behind for long as they answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Tony Wolters led off the game with a double to right and then would be moved over on a sacrifice bunt by right fielder Bo Greenwell. With Wolters on third and less then one out, third baseman Giovanny Urshela failed to bring Wolters in as he grounded out to third. It was left up to first baseman Jesus Aguilar to come through with a two-out hit and he delivered as he doubled to right to drive in Wolters.
Right fielder David Rohm would take the lead right back for the Hillcats as he drove a one-out solo shot over the left field wall.
A lead off single by second baseman Ronny Rodriguez in the fifth would lead to the Mudcats tying the game back up. Following a groundout by left fielder Anthony Gallas that moved Rodriguez to second, designated hitter Todd Hankins delivered for the Mudcats. Hankins would drive a double to left, which easily scored Rodriguez to tie the game at two.
For the second time in the game the Hillcats answered the Mudcats run by retaking the lead as they put up two in the sixth. The Mudcats were unlucky with the first two batters of the inning as shortstop Nick Ahmed led off the inning with an infield single. Following a stolen base by Ahmed, left fielder Dan Brewer lined a ball into right. Greenwell lost the ball in the lights as the ball fell just a few feet from where he was standing, and Brewer ended up with an RBI double as Ahmed easily scored from second. Brewer would move to third on a groundout and then score on a single to right by a pulled in infield by designated hitter Adam Milligan giving the Hillcats a 4-2 lead.
Sloppy defense cost the Mudcats in the top of the ninth as the Hillcats tacked on three insurance runs off reliever JD Reichenbach, to give them some breathing room. Reichenbach would hit the first batter he faced in catcher Chad Comer and to compound the mistake, Reichenbach unleashed a wild pitch allowing Comer to move to second. Rohm then came up and grounded to short, but Wolters chose to try to throw out Comer, who was attempting to move to third. Wolters throw was off line, which allowed Comer to slide in safely and put runners on the corners with no outs. Third baseman Bobby Stevens then laid down a sacrifice bunt to bring in Comer. However the throw from catcher Dwight Childs to first hit Stevens and bounced away, allowing Rohm to move to third and Stevens to second on the play. After getting the first out of the inning on a groundout by second baseman Matt Weaver with the infield in, Reichenbach would give up a lined shot down the left field line for a double to center fielder Mycal Jones, scoring both Rohm and Stevens. Reichenbach would get out of the game without any further runs, but the damage was done as the Mudcats fell down 7-2.
The Mudcats bats will look to get back on track as they face off again against the Hillcats at 6:15 Saturday at Five County Stadium.