Wendle sets franchise record in 7-2 win
Wendle record-setting three doubles lead Mudcats to victory
ZEBULON – The Carolina Mudcats got one of their most complete games of the season as the pitching dominated and the offense took advantage of some timely pitching mistakes to earn a 7-2 win over the Salem Red Sox on Saturday night.
The win boosted the Mudcats’ record to 6-9 in the second half and 28-57 overall.
Right-hander Cody Anderson got the start for the Mudcats and was very efficient. The ace went five innings and gave up only two runs on five hits and one walk. Anderson also struck out three batters. Anderson picked up the win to boost his record to 7-3.
Even though the team is looking to keep Anderson’s innings low this year, he was able to go five strong, and Mudcats manager David Wallace was happy with his performance.
“I thought he pitched well. He was aggressive and went a good strong five innings for us,” said Wallace. “We’re monitoring his innings, but he has a chance to go five or six sometimes depending on how many pitches he throws.”
Anderson was happy to get back in the win column after a string of starts where he did not factor into the decision.
“It feels good to get back into the fifth inning and get the win. I just try to keep it close and give the team a chance to win” said Anderson. “I wasn’t as sharp as I could be, but it gives me something to work on to get better.”
With two outs in the second inning, Carolina was able to load the bases with a single by designated hitter Paddy Matera, third baseman Zack MacPhee reached on an error, and Naquin walked.
However, shortstop Francisco Lindor lined out to end the inning, and was unable to bring in a run.
After a rough first inning, Anderson cruised through the second inning, and started the third inning similarly. However, with two outs in the inning, Salem crushed a solo home run to tie the game at one.
Anderson had another tough inning in the fourth, giving up a double and a single with one out. However, with runners at the corners, a pop-up and fly-out ended the inning without allowing a run to score.
Left fielder Bryson Myles led off the fourth inning with and single, and was followed by a single by right fielder Bo Greenwell to put runners on the corners with no outs. Matera followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to bring in Myles to allow Carolina to retake the lead.
Salem tied the game again in the fifth inning on an RBI single with a runner on second base. As the runner rounded third base, Greenwell sent home the ball, and it sailed into foul territory to allow the run to score easily.
Carolina was able to play small ball as well as big ball, and Wallace was very happy with the results.
“We can’t sit back and wait for someone to hit a three-run homer. That’s just not us. We’re really happy with a lot of the guys making the adjustments” said Wallace.
Carolina came right back in the bottom of the fifth, as Lindor reached on a bunt single, and Wolters singled to put runners on the corners. Wendle just missed a home run, but settled for an RBI double to allow Carolina to retake the lead. Sabourin followed with a sacrifice fly to bring in Wolters for the second run of the inning, and that was enough to chase Red Sox starting pitcher Miguel Pena.
The Mudcats offense continued to click after the reliever was brought in. Myles singled, and Greenwell followed with an RBI single of his own. With two on, and one out, Matera followed with a two-RBI double to blow open the game.
Right hander Louis Head replaced Anderson in the sixth inning and pitched two perfect innings to preserve the lead.
Right hander Rob Nixon replaced Head in the eighth inning and ran into trouble as two runners reached on an error and a walk with one out. However a fly out and groundout ended the inning without allowing a runner to score.
Lindor singled with one out in the eighth, but Wolters grounded into a double to end the inning.
Closer Jeff Johnson allowed two hits in the ninth, but didn’t allow a run to score to preserve the win.
Carolina completes the series against Salem on Sunday afternoon. Left-hander Shawn Morimando gets the start for the Mudcats. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00.
NOTES: The solo home run in the third inning snapped Carolina’s scoreless innings streak at 17.2 innings… Anderson allowed more than one run in a start for the first time since June 6… Wendle set the current franchise record for doubles in a game with three…
Zachary is a senior at NC State where he is majoring in communication-media, with minors in journalism and theatre. You can follow him on Twitter @RealZachFrancis.