Myles, Sabourin drive Mudcats to another win, 9-7
Offense keys win in first road game of year
by Zachary Francis
WINSTON-SALEM - Much like they did in the opening game of the season, the Carolina Mudcats pulled out a 9-7 win against the Winston Salem Dash in their first road game of the season on Friday night. First baseman Jerrud Sabourin went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored, leading the Mudcats to victory.
The Mudcats got on the board first in the top of the second inning on a two-out RBI single by catcher Charlie Valerio that scored designated hitter Tony Wolters. However, the Mudcats gave that run right back in the bottom half of the inning on a solo home run to Dash catcher Kevan Smith to even the score at one run apiece.
Center fielder Tyler Naquin ripped a double to center field to start off the third inning, and advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Francisco Lindor on the very next pitch. Lindor reached base on an error by Dash catcher Kevan Smith, making this the only time he would be on base on the night, ending his season starting six game hitting streak. Second baseman Joseph Wendle followed that up with an RBI single to score Naquin and to give the Mudcats back the lead. Right fielder Jordan Smith followed that up with an RBI single of his own to score Lindor. Sabourin then hit a one-out RBI single to score Wendle to widen the Mudcats lead to 4-1.
Center fielder Courtney Hawkins brought the Dash back to within one run in the bottom half of the third inning on a two-out two run home run to make the score 4-3 heading into the fourth inning.
The Mudcats couldn’t get anything going in the fourth after Naquin reached base after beating out a bunt down the third base line to open the inning. Lindor followed with a line out to third before Wendle reached base for the third time of the night on another base hit to advance Naquin to second base. However the threat ended after the Dash recorded two more outs to end the inning.
The Dash tied the score once again, this time at four, after right fielder Mark Haddow scored in the bottom of the fourth.
Wolters reached base once again in the fifth on a double to start the inning, and scored his second run of the night on a double by Sabourin to give the Mudcats a one-run lead. Sabourin then scored on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Bryson Myles to widen the margin to two. This was enough to chase Dash starting pitcher Chris Bassitt after the inning, after giving up six runs, four earned, on ten hits.
Mudcats starting pitcher Jacob Lee was taken out of the game after five solid innings, giving up four runs, all earned, on only five hits.
Lee’s replacement, left hander Francisco Jimenez, struggled giving up three runs, two earned, in only two-thirds of an inning pitched, and allowed the Dash to take a one run lead. Jimenez was replaced by right hander Owen Dew, who pitched one and one-third innings of solid relief, giving up only one hit, and picked up his first win of the season.
Bryson Myles crushed a three-run home run to give the Mudcats back a two run lead in the top half of the seventh inning to end the scoring for the game.
Right handed relief pitcher Enosil Tejeda pitched the eighth inning, surrendering only a walk in a hitless inning. After the Mudcats failed to add to their lead in the top of the ninth inning, right hander Jeff Johnson was sent to the mound and pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his second save of the season.
The Mudcats continue their six game road trip on Saturday with another game against the Dash. Left-handed pitcher Shawn Morimando is the probable starter for that game with first pitch scheduled for 7:00.