Mudcats topple Blue Rocks 13-8
Greenwell nearly hits cycle as Carolina wins big
ZEBULON, N.C. – The Carolina Mudcats charted a season high in runs with a 13-8 win against the Wilmington Blue Rocks at Five County Stadium on Monday afternoon.
Left-hander J.D. Reichenbach (3-2) took the win for the Mudcats with 2.1 hitless innings.
After two uneventful innings, The Blue Rocks took the lead at the top of the third when a base hit to left field by right-fielder Lane Adams scored second baseman Justin Trapp and moved first baseman Daniel Mateo into position at second base. A ground ball to third from third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert and an error by infielder Joe Sever at third base loaded the bases. First basemanJared Schlehuber approached the plate with only one out and hit a single off the left center wall to send Mateo home.
The second error of the inning by catcher Ryan Battaglia allowed Cuthbert to score and the Blue Rocks ended the third inning with four runs scored on three hits, with the help of two errors from the Mudcats.
Carolina caught up in the bottom of the fourth inning. Shortstop Francisco Lindor made it to third base after the Blue Rocks’ catcher’s ball sailed to center with no one to save it. A line drive to third and a fumble by the third baseman got second baseman Joey Wendle to first.
Lindor scored after a bouncer by right-fielder Jordan Smith to second and an error by the second baseman. Right-handed pitcher Kyle Zimmer walked catcher Tony Wolters to give Carolina a man on each base without a hit. A hit to left field from outfielder Luigi Rodriguez scored Wendle and Smith and left Wolters on third and Rodriguez on base as outfielder Bo Greenwell stepped up to the plate. A smash to left field sent Wolters and Rodriguez home, and back-to-back doubles gave the Mudcats a 5-4 lead.
A base hit to first from Sever put Mudcats on the corners and the Blue Rocks began warming up their bullpen to replace Zimmer after three innings pitched, seven runs on four hits and two walks. Right-hander Kellen Moenentered the game to face Battaglia, who scored Sever and Greenwell with a perfectly placed ground ball double up the third base line. The Mudcats ended the inning up 7-4.
Carolina starter right-hander Jacob Lee (0-4) left the game after five innings pitched and right-hander Owen Dew(2-4) took the mound to face outfielder Geulin Beltre. Beltre delivered a leadoff home run, his first of the year, to narrow the Mudcats’ lead to two.
Dew walked catcher Kenny Swab and Mateo before a wild pitch to Adams sent Swab to third and Mateo to second. Adams answered the next pitch with a home run off the scoreboard and the Blue Rocks took the lead, 8-7, with two outs.
The Mudcats tied the score in their next at-bat with a home run by Greenwell to deep right field in the bottom of the sixth. Sever followed up with a double and a made it to third after a chop from Battaglia. A wild pitch to outfielderTyler Naquin scored the go-ahead run.
Right-hander Cody Fassold entered the game for Wilmington and gave up another Carolina home run to Wendle. Wolters then made it to first on a bouncer and an error by Mateo, and another Wilmington error, this time by Trapp, advanced Wolters after a single from Rodriguez.
Greenwell stepped up the plate with two on base and one out and delivered a two run triple to score Wolters and Rodriquez and bring the score to 12-8 and his RBI total for the game to five. Sever’s fourth hit of the game scored Greenwell, and the Mudcats ended the sixth inning with six unanswered runs.
Reichenbach and the outfield made quick work of the next four Wilmington batters. Fassold and the Blue Rocks responded with three consecutive outs for the Mudcats.
Right-hander Jeff Johnson entered for the Mudcats in the top of the ninth and walked Schlehuber before a hit from Lopez and a call of “safe” from the umpire brought manager David Wallace to the field in protest. Beltre struck out to end the game and improve the Mudcats’ record to 18-31 overall.
Carolina continues a four-game set against Wilmington Tuesday at Five County Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.