Mudcats "Stars" shine bright in opening night 10-1 win
Naquin, Lindor collect six hits in blowout win
Zebulon, NC – On a perfect night for the 2013 home opener, the Carolina Mudcats took the field against the Winston Salem Dash and exploded for ten runs in a 10-1 blowout win.
Center fielder Tyler Naquin led off the bottom of the first inning by drawing a walk, and top prospect shortstop Francisco Lindor pushed a pitch through the infield to put runners at the corners. Designated hitter Tony Wolters hit a deep fly to the warning track that served as a sacrifice fly and brought in Naquin to put the Mudcats up 1-0. Lindor stole second and was moved to third with two outs after cleanup hitter right fielder Jordan Smith knocked a deep fly to right. Lindor scored on a wild pitch to end the inning with the Mudcats on top 2-0.
After a quick first inning for Mudcats pitcher Cody Anderson, the Dash’s designated hitter Mark Tracy led off the second inning with a triple off the center field wall and later scored on a sacrifice fly to bring the score to 2-1.
Mudcats left fielder Bryson Myles started off the second inning with a single to center and then stole second. Second baseman Joey Wendle hit a grounder to the shortstop who attempted to throw out Myles at third but the throw got away and allowed Myles to score and Wendle moved up to second on the error. Third baseman Todd Hankins kept the inning going when he hit the ball off the knob of the bat and reached first with an infield single, and then Naquin caught the Dash shortstop breaking towards second and pushed an RBI single through the gap to score Wendle to make it 4-1 after two innings.
The Mudcats exploded for five runs in the third inning.
After a groundout by Smith for the first out of the inning, first baseman Jerrud Sabourin singled to the rightfielder and left fielder Bryson Myles reached when the shortstop's throw to second base forced him to come off the bag. Wendle knocked a ball into centerfield for an RBI single scoring Sabourin. Catcher Charlie Valerio followed up the action with an RBI single to centerfield that scored Myles. Naquin stepped up with two on and had the highlight of the night when he blasted a three-run homer off the scoreboard to score Valerio and Hankins bringing the score to 9-1 through three innings.
In his Carolina League debut, Naquin did not just produce on offense, but on defense as well with a diving catch running in on a ball in the top of the fifth inning to keep the Mudcats on top 9-1. After a strikeout and a flyout to start off the bottom of the fifth inning, Naquin continued to shine by hitting a standup double down the first base line.
In the bottom of the eighth inning Lindor hit a triple off the right field wall and after a sac fly by Wolters he scored to push the score to 10-1.
Anderson picked up the win going six innings and allowed only one run on four hits, no walks, and had four strikeouts. Right-handed pitcher Owen Dew, lefty J.D. Reichenbach, and right-hander Michael Goodnight combined to throw three shutout innings of relief.
The Carolina Mudcats will return to action Saturday at 6:15 pm at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, NC.