Mudcats sweep Dash
Zebulon, N.C. –The Carolina Mudcats followed their come from behind victory on Saturday night with a backbreaking 6-2 victory on Sunday afternoon, sweeping the Winston-Salem Dash in their first series of the year. Joey Wendle was spectacular for the Mudcats again on Sunday, going 2 for 3, with four RBI’s and a homerun.
Mudcats starter Shawn Morimando got off to a slow start, but managed to get through four innings, only giving up two hits, but walking four batters, with only one strikeout.
Mudcats’ left-handed pitcher Francisco Jimenez took over for Morimando in the top of the fifth inning. In the bottom of the fourth it looked like Mudcats shortstop, Francisco Lindor, was going to finally get the team going. He started off the fourth inning with a single into centerfield and advanced to second during the next at bat, picking up his second stolen base of the series. Second baseman, Tony Wolters, gets caught watching a pitch on the outside corner of the plate and at the end of the fourth; the score remained 0-0.
In the top of the fifth inning, Mudcats third baseman, Justin Toole, misfielded a groundball and was given a costly error that put a runner on for the Dash with two outs in the inning. The next batter, Dash second baseman Joey DeMichele, hit a line drive that fell in to shallow center field advancing the runner to second base. Jimenez used a timely strikeout to get out of his first jam of the ballgame.
Jerrud Sabourin started out the fifth inning by putting the ball in play to the second baseman and was awarded second base after an overthrow landed in the Winston Salem dugout. Wendle followed up with a groundball into right field that was bobbled, scoring Sabourin, and giving the Muddies a 1-0 lead.
Wendle advanced to second base after Mudcats catcher Jake Lowery drew a no-out walk. With runners on first and second, Mudcats third baseman Justin Toole laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners into scoring position. A groundout by Tyler Naquin scored Wendle, making the score 2-0. Top prospect and shortshop Francisco Lindor hit a two-out double that scored Lowery and brought the score to 3-0 in favor of the Mudcats to end the fifth.
In the bottom of the sixth, Mudcats left fielder Anthony Gallas drew a one-out walk, and a double to right field by Sabourin advanced Gallas to third. He would eventually score as the result of a sacrifice fly by Wendle, giving the Mudcats a 4-0 lead.
Catcher Jake Lowery drew a two-out walk, but eventually the Mudcats left two runners on base after a groundout to third by Justin Toole that ended the sixth inning with a four run lead.
The Dash finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh inning with a homerun off the score board by third baseman Chris Curley, which made the score 4-1 in favor of the Mudcats.
Right-hander Enosil Tejeda entered the game for the Carolina Mudcats in the top of the eighth inning. After two deep fly balls to center by Kevan Smith and Mark Haddow, the Dash cut the Mudcats lead to 4-2.
The game and weekend series continued to be a shining spot for Joey Wendle as he hit a two out, two-run homer over the right field wall, giving the Mudcats a few insurance runs going in to the top of the ninth inning with a 6-2 lead.
After the game, Mudcats’ Manager David Wallace was pleased with his players’ effort, “It was a good start. I was proud of the guys and how they came out of the gates focused. To me, what has been more impressive has been how they put together at bats. The defense has been outstanding and the pitchers have just attacked hitters.”
The Mudcats will return to action Monday, April 8, at Five County Stadium against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Game time is 7:15 pm.