Lynchburg, VA – Mike Rayl has been an anchor for Carolina over the last few weeks, and his unrelenting will power helped the Carolina Mudcats combine on a 5-0 shutout of the Lynchburg Hillcats on Sunday evening at Calvin Falwell Field.
The Mudcats improved to 25-24 in the second half, and 57-62 overall. Carolina wins the season series over Lynchburg 11-9.
Rayl (9-8) won his third straight outing by holding the Hillcats to two hits over five innings, despite not having his best stuff. The left-hander struggled at times with his command, walking a season-high four batters and hitting two.
Rob Nixon and Grant Sides combined to keep Lynchburg (23-26, 62-57) off the board over the final four innings. Nixon dealt three scoreless, and Sides struck out a pair in a scoreless ninth.
Aaron Northcraft (8-10) looked unhittable early, retiring the first 11 batters in order. Third baseman Giovanny Urshela, who came into the night hitting .467 in his last five games, did away with thoughts of a no-hitter by belting his tenth home run of the season over the left field wall. The shot put Carolina up 1-0.
Northcraft pitched into the eighth inning, and was finally chased after facing three hitters. The right-hander allowed four runs on six hits. He struck out seven.
Carolina scored four over the final four innings to salt the game away. Urshela finished with his third three-hit game in six outings, driving in two. Tony Wolters extended his hitting streak to nine with a pair of singles and a RBI. Bo Greenwell drove in a run in the sixth inning, with two out, for a 2-0 lead.
The Mudcats return home to host the Frederick Keys for three games for the first of three on Monday night at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (919) 269-2287 or visitingcarolinamudcats.com.