Thursday, April 03, 2014 11:39 PM
Four-run sixth sends Mudcats to victory
From staff reports
ZEBULON — A four-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth inning lifted the Carolina Mudcats to a season-opening 6-3 Advance Class A Carolina League victory against the Potomac Nationals on Thursday night in Five County Stadium.
The spree snapped a 2-2 tie. The Mudcats pushed across a run in each of the second and third innings, while Potomac countered with two runs in the top of the fourth.
Third baseman Yhoxian Medina singled with one out in the Mudcats’ sixth and promptly stole second base.
With two outs, first baseman Joe Sever was hit by a pitch from Potomac reliever Ian Dickson, the losing pitcher. The Mudcats took a 3-2 lead on left fielder LeVon Washington’s single to right field.
Designated hitter Alex Monsalve drew a walk to load the bases. Right fielder Ollie Linton was plunked by a Dickson pitch to force in the inning’s second run. Travis Henke relieved for the Nationals but was greeted by second baseman Todd Hankins’ two-run double into the right-field corner.
Carolina relievers Josh Martin, Jacob Lee and Louis Head combined to limit the Nationals to one run the last three innings. Martin worked two hitless and scoreless innings to pick up the season-opening win, striking out three. Head issued a walk but struck out two in shutting down Potomac in the ninth and earning the save.
Mudcats starter Shawn Morimando, a left-hander, lasted five innings, allowing five hits and two runs. Nationals starter Brian Rauh yielded six hits and two runs in also going five innings.
Carolina never trailed with Sever driving in the first run in the second.
The Mudcats added a run in the third when shortstop Erik Gonzalez singled through the right side to drive in Hankins.
Potomac rallied against Morimando in the fourth, sending eight batters to the plate and collecting five of its seven hits. Kevin Keyes tripled home Tony Renda, who had singled, with the Nationals’ first run. Brandon Miller’s single scored Keyes and produced a 2-2 tie. Potomac loaded the bases before Morimando averted further trouble with a fly-out to center field.
Carolina banged out nine hits, including two each from Medina and Washington. Medina wound up 2 for 2 with two runs scored and two stolen bases. Renda’s two hits paced the Nationals.
©The Wilson Times, Wilson, North Carolina.
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