Mudcats Squeeze Out 2-1 Win
ZEBULON- The Carolina Mudcats (19-18) squeezed out a 2-1 win against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (22-15) to open up a three game series.
The Mudcats got two, two out hits in the bottom of the first to drive in their only runs of the game. That would be all the offense the Mudcats would need as the pitching was fantastic on the night.
Danny Salazar took the mound for the Mudcats and outdueled Randy Henry for the Pelicans to pick up his first win of the year. Salazar had yet to pitch into the fifth in any of his 15 starts this year leading up to last night as he has been held to a strict pitch count.
Salazar changed that as he tossed five innings giving up only one unearned run while surrendering only three hits while striking out four.
“Salazar was very, very good. His secondary pitches were working well for him tonight to go along with a good fastball. This was the first time he has gone five innings this year; he just was really strong out there” said manager Edwin Rodriguez.
Jordan Cooper came in for Salazar in the sixth and fired three scoreless innings while only allowing one base runner to reach in his outing. Trey Haley then came in for the ninth as he picked up his second save of the year.
“Cooper has been doing that the whole season and Trey Haley came on and did what he does best, throw 100 mph,” said Rodriguez.
On the other side Henry ended up tossing a solid outing of his own after a rocky first as he went on to pitch six innings giving up only the two first inning runs.
After back to back singles by second baseman Tony Wolters and right fielder Bo Greenwell to lead of the top of the first it looked like the Mudcats would be able to strike early off Pelican starter Randy Henry; however, following a double play by third baseman Giovanny Urshela, Henry got the opportunity to get out of the inning unscathed.
Henry was unable to do so as first baseman Jesus Aguilar drilled a single to left to drive in Wolters. Center fielder Carlos Moncrief then come up and added to the lead as he drove a ball into the right center gap allowing Aguilar to come all the way around from first to score giving the Mudcats the early 2-0 lead.
“It was very important to jump out ahead like that to get the home stand started off well and to also give Salazar some room to work with,” said Rodriguez.
With two on and one out in the fourth, third baseman Edwin Garcia grounded to second on a ball that was set up perfectly for a inning ending double play. However Wolters made an errant flip to second that trickled all the way into left allowing DH Tomas Telis, who led off the inning with a single, to come in to score the Pelicans first run of the night. Salazar got out of any further damage as he induced a pop out to third by left fielder Santaigo Chirino and then a fly out to center by center fielder Teodoro Martinez to strand runners on the corners.
Following the fourth the Pelicans never got a man past first base as the Mudcat pitching shut them down from there on out.
The Mudcats will look to take the series on Wednesday as they again face off against the Pelicans at 7:15 at Five County Stadium.