Mudcats take series over Potomac thanks to Lindor RBIs
Lindor, Naquin lead Carolina to a 4-1 victory
Zebulon, N.C. – Despite early home runs by both teams on Thursday night, the Carolina Mudcats took the four-game series over the Potomac Nationals with a 4-1 win.
In the first inning, Nationals center fielder Michael Taylor worked the count to full before he hit a home run over the left-center field wall and pushed the score to 1-0. Mudcats centerfielder Tyler Naquin countered the early Nationals home run with a homer over the scoreboard and evened up the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the first.
Following up his home run from the first inning, Naquin picked up a ground-rule double after his fly ball down the left field line fell fair and bounced into the stands. He scored from second on the next pitch after shortstop Francisco Lindor singled in to right field, giving the Mudcats a 2-1 advantage.
A pitchout caught Lindor stealing second for the first out of the inning. After right fielder Jordan Smith got his second single of the game, he was thrown out trying to get to second to end the inning, but not before the Mudcats took the 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, third baseman Justin Toole singled to second for his second hit of the game. Zack MacPhee grounded out, but only after he advanced Toole to second base. Lindor continued his hitting streak with a two-out double to left that scored Toole to bring the score to 3-1. First baseman Jerrud Sabourin kept the fifth inning going with a single to right and Lindor was waved around and pushed the score to 4-1 Mudcats.
The Nationals threatened in the top of the eighth with runners on first and second base with no outs. Left fielder Billy Burns hit in to a double play and was punched out by Lindor. Taylor followed up the double play with a fly out to second base to end the inning and threat by the Nationals.
Leading off the ninth inning for the Potomac Nationals, third baseman Cutter Dykstra dribbled a slow roller up the third base line. It was cleanly fielded and thrown over to first by Toole and the out was picked up by Sabourin as he tagged out Dykstra before he crossed the base.
The Nationals began to put together a little rally in the top of the ninth after Nationals shortstop Jacob Martinson singled into left-center field, followed by a single to right by catcher Adrian Nieto. With runners on first and second and one out, first baseman Kevin Keyes advanced the runners into scoring position with a ground out to third base. With two outs and the tying run at the plate, right-handed pitcher Jeff Johnson ended the game with a swinging strikeout.
Will Roberts picked up the win for the Mudcats after pitching seven innings, allowing only four hits, no walks, and striking out six. After the game Manager David Wallace spoke on taking the series at home after struggling on the road.
“It feels great that we went out there, kept our bats going and put together a game like we know we are capable of playing," Wallace said. "Roberts really came out and put together seven strong innings to pick up the win tonight and the RBI’s by Lindor early in the game really contributed to the win offensively.”
The Mudcats hit the road for two back-to-back series starting Friday at Frederick and follow that up by facing Potomac again starting on Monday. They will return home to Five County Stadium on May 3rd to face the Frederick Keys.