Roberts leads Mudcats past Nationals, 6-2
ZEBULON- The Carolina Mudcats (29-33) took the second game of the series over the Potomac Nationals (30-33) 6-2 on Wednesday night.
Will Roberts turned in a great outing for the Mudcats as he tossed seven and one third innings giving up only two runs on eight hits to lead the Cats to the win.
"He did very good tonight," manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "Outside of a couple mistakes and a few pitches up in the zone, he had command of his breaking ball and his fastball and was very effective."
The Mudcats bats woke up as well as they put together a total of 11 hits on the night after being shut down the night before. Right fielder Todd Hankins and third baseman Giovanny Urshela led the offense as they both had two RBI's on the night.
"They were able to bounce back," said Rodriguez. "We have a lot of new guys coming in and guys going out, we have to make adjustments. The new guys have to contribute and the old guys need to step up and that was shown today."
The Mudcats jumped out to an early lead off National starter Taylor Hill as they put a two spot on the board in the bottom of the first. Left fielder Justin Toole got the inning started with a one out single to right. Third baseman Giovanny Urshela came up with the big hit as he hammered his 13th homer of the year off the left field scoreboard to give the Mudcats the early 2-0 lead.
A lead off double by left fielder J.P Ramirez helped the Nationals bring the game back to even in the sixth. Following a batter interference call that resulted in the first out of the inning, the Nationals hit back to back singles the latter of which drove in Ramirez. Right fielder Kevin Keyes came to the plate and with him batting the Nationals pulled off a double steal to put two runners in scoring position for him with less then two outs. Keyes the grounded out to short to bring home the second run of the inning to tie the game. Center fielder Steven Souza Jr. lined a shot down the third base line but Urshela made a nice play at third to end the inning and save the Mudcats a run.
First baseman Tyler Cannon led off the seventh with a double to right to start a two run rally for the Mudcats and then moved to third on a wild pitch. After a pop out, right fielder Todd Hankins lined a single to left to bring home Cannon. Hankins then stole second and then scored easily on a double to left center by catcher Alex Monsalve as the Mudcats took a 4-2 lead heading into the eighth.
The Nationals put together a threat in the top of the eighth as they loaded up the bases looking to tie the game. Back to back one out hits chased Roberts from the game as the Mudcats turned to Robert Nixon to try to get out of the inning. Nixon got Skole to fly out for the second out of the inning but gave up a single to left to Keyes that loaded up the bases for Souza Jr. Nixon took the count full to Souza Jr and ended up getting him looking as he struck him out to end the threat.
Wolters led off the bottom of the inning with a solo blast to right off National reliever Ryan Demmin to extend the lead to three at 5-2. After Demmin got two straight outs, the Mudcats then put together a two out rally to tack on another run as they smacked three straight singles the last of which by Hankins on a bloop single to center brought home the Mudcats sixth run of the night.
The Mudcats will look to build on this win as they again take on the Nationals at 7:15 on Thursday.