Myrtle Beach, S.C. – The Carolina Mudcats dropped arguably their most bitter defeat on Thursday night as Myrtle Beach escaped with a 5-4 triumph in 11 innings at TicketReturn.com Field. A raucous crowd of 6,599 watched the Mudcats (26-27, 58-65) storm back from certain defeat to tie the game 4-4 in the ninth, only to lose in one of the craziest finishes of the year.
With the game knotted at four runs apiece in the 11th, the Pelicans (31-22, 67-56) poked a single into center off the bat of Santiago Chirino. Reliever J.D. Reichenbach (5-6) found himself against Edwin Garcia with one out. The second baseman chopped a slow bounder in the grass up the third base line. Reichenbach charged the ball, and threw wildly to first.
In the ensuing chaos, Chirino rounded the bases towards home plate. First baseman Justin Toole threw towards home, appearing to beat the runner with the relay to catcher Dwight Childs. However, home plate umpire Roberto Moreno ruled that Childs missed the tag, and Myrtle Beach declared the winner.
Jimmy Reyes (6-3) earned the win for Myrtle Beach by pitching a perfect 11th.
The incredible finish spoiled an even more amazing rally by the Mudcats. Down to their last out and nobody on, facing the Carolina League’s best reliever in Ben Rowen, Carolina mounted a surge. Trailing 4-1, Anthony Gallas beat out an infield hit when a ground ball glanced off the first baseman’s glove. Tyler Cannon immediately followed with a rolling single to right.
Ronny Rodriguez stepped to the plate, and delivered a mammoth home run to straight center that tied the game at four. It was the first runs allowed by Rowen since June 3, and his first blown save in 16 tries. For Rodriguez, it marked his fourth home run in seven games at Pelicans Ballpark, and capped a three-hit performance.
The Carolina Mudcats continue their series with Myrtle Beach on Friday night. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. The Mudcats return home to host the Salem Red Sox for three games on August 24. Tickets are available by calling (919) 269-2287
or visiting carolinamudcats.com