Mudcats rally for 8-7 win
Matera eighth inning home run leads Carolina to come-from-behiind win
The Carolina Mudcats completed a home stand against the Wilmington Blue Rocks with an 8-7 win at Five County Stadium Tuesday night.
Right-hander Cody Anderson started for the Mudcats and gave up eight hits and four runs in five innings pitched while striking out out six. Louis Head (1-1) entered in the sixth and took the win for Carolina.
Left-hander Sam Selman started for Wilmington and pitched three frames with four hits, three runs, four stolen bases and two strikeouts. The losing pitcher was Spencer Patton (5-2) with three innings pitched, five hits, five runs, two strikeouts and two home runs allowed.
Shortstop Justin Toole then singled to score Wolters and Matera. Third baseman Zach MacPhee and center fielderTyler Naquin both walked before the inning was up, but Carolina was unable to capitalize on Selman’s struggles.
Matera was a standout in the win, said Carolina manager David Wallace, and the depth of the batting lineup is one of the Mudcats’ strengths.
“Matera has been a solid force and [Bryson] Myles has been swinging the bat well,” he said. “We’ve also seen good production from the guys toward the bottom of the lineup. It’s tough for opposing pitchers when there’s nowhere to let up.”
A pitch hit Matera to begin the action in the bottom of the third. Wolters singled and a double from first basemanJerrud Sabourin and a throwing error scored Matera to bring the score to 3-1, Mudcats.
Wilmington tied up the game in the top of the fifth with a pair of single choppers past second from left fielder Yem Prades and Parker Morin. A sacrifice fly from Geulin Beltre got Prades to third and a single from Ethan Chapmansent him home and brought the score to 4-2. Singles from Lopez and Bonifacio tied the game up.
Spencer Patton retired three consecutive Carolina batters to lead into a three-run top of the sixth for the Blue Rocks. Head entered to relieve Anderson but struggled to contain Wilmington, giving up two singles and a wild pitch to score Morin before Chapman stole third base and Trapp hit a home run to left field.
A home run from Naquin scored Toole and brought the Carolina deficit to one in the bottom of the sixth.
A physical Carolina defense kept Wilmington scoreless in the top of the seventh. First baseman Dennis Rabenwalked and third baseman Jared Schlehuber doubled to left field. Myles got the ball and sent it to Toole, then Wolters and then to MacPhee who collided with Raben for an out. Prades singled and Schlehuber was almost home when he ran into with Wolters before the base to end the inning.
The Mudcats took the lead in the bottom of the eighth with a single from Wendle followed by a Matera home run to shallow left field.
Good defense and timely hitting earned the win for Carolina, Wallace said. Moving forward the key is to keep the energy up and to come out in the first ready to play a high-level game for the next nine, he added.
Carolina’s record is now 16-14 in the second half and 38-62 overall. Wilmington dropped to 14-17 in the second half and 47-54 overall.
The team travels to Winston-Salem to begin a four-game series against the Dash. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.