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Poor pitching and sloppy play buries Mudcats 10-0

Lynchburg blows out 'Cats despite only scoring three earned runs

Poor pitching and sloppy play buries Mudcats 10-0
July 1, 2013
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ZEBULON – Carolina’s offense never got going, and defensively, the team gave up seven unearned runs in a 10-0 loss to the Lynchburg Hillcats on Monday night.

Mudcats manager David Wallace didn’t have anything positive to say about the team’s performance.

“We didn’t do much of anything right.  We didn’t throw strikes, we didn’t play defense.  Their starter carved us up pretty good.  There’s not a whole lot of positives to take from tonight,” said Wallace.

Left hander Shawn Morimando got the start for the Mudcats and labored through 4.1 innings.  Morimando worked from behind in the count to most of the batters he faced in throwing 95 pitches.  Morimando’s final line was two runs on four hits, four walks and five strikeouts.  Morimando was handed the loss which was his fourth straight, and dropped his record to 4-9.

Wallace said Morimando needs to put in work to get better for his next start, and play to the level the team knows he can. 

 “He knows he should be better, and knows we expect him to be better and more consistent.  We thought starts like these were in his past, but we’ll see if he puts in the work to get better for his next start,” said Wallace.

Center fielder Tyler Naquin led off the first inning with a single up the middle, and was followed by a grounder to second base by shortstop Francisco Lindor.  However, Naquin was out on runner’s interference as the batted ball hit him as he was running to second.  Lindor was credited with a single on the play. 

Later in the inning, second baseman Joey Wendle reached on a fielder’s choice as Lindor was out at second base.  Wendle stole second base with first baseman Jerrud Sabourin at bat, and Sabourin was eventually hit by a pitch to reach base.  Right fielder Jordan Smith grounded out to end the inning.  Despite the first four batters in the order reaching base, none advanced past second base in the inning.

After a walk to lead off the second inning, Lynchburg got rolling offensively.  A groundout to first base advanced the runner to second, and a single to left field put runners on the corners with one out.  However, Morimando was able to get out of the jam thanks to a strikeout and a fantastic play by Naquin in center field.  On a ball hit to deep center field, Naquin jumped and laid out while running towards the outfield wall to make the grab and save at least one run to end the inning.

Lynchburg took the lead in the third inning on a lead-off solo home run and never looked back.  A walk and a double allowed another run to score.  A wild pitch by Morimando allowed the runner to advance to third base, but Morimando got out of the jam thanks to a groundout and a strikeout.

Lindor singled with two outs in the third inning, and attempted to steal second base.  However, Lindor was thrown out to end the inning.  Lindor proved to be the last Mudcats player to reach base until third baseman Zack MacPhee singled to lead off the ninth inning. 

Carolina only managed four hits on the night and didn’t manage to get a runner past second base until the ninth inning thanks to the pitching of Lynchburg starting pitcher Ryan Weber, who pitched eight innings and only gave up three hits.

Wallace was very impressed by Weber’s performance.  “He had some nasty stuff.  There are not a lot of guys that can make our lineup look like that.  You just don’t see our guys swinging at the pitches they were swinging at” said Wallace.

After Morimando allowed a leadoff walk to Lynchburg center fielder Matt Lipka, catcher Tony Wolters threw him out.  Lipka had some words to say to the umpire and was ejected walking back to the dugout.  After allowing a second walk in the inning, Morimando was replaced by right hander Francisco Valera.

For the second time in the fifth, Wolters threw out a Lynchburg runner attempting to steal for the second out.  Valera walked the third batter of the inning, and the very next pitch was crushed for an RBI double off the center field wall to give the Hillcats a three-run lead. 

Valera allowed a lead-off single in the eighth inning, and a stolen base put a runner on second base, and then walked the next batter.  A single to the next batter loaded the bases, still with no outs.  On error on Valera allowed a run to score, and the bases stayed full, which proved to be the last play for Valera on the night.

Valera’s final line was 2.2 innings pitched, three hits and five runs, only one earned.  Valera also walked two and struck out two. 

Right hander Fabio Martinez replaced Valera, and the trouble continued.  A passed ball by Wolters allowed another run to score.  A chopper back to Martinez proved to be trouble as Martinez’s throw to first was wide allowing another run to score and the runners to advance to second and third still with no out.  After a strikeout got the first out of the inning, a walk reloaded the bases.  Another walk scored a fourth run in the inning, and a wild pitch brought in another.  Back-to-back strikeouts finally ended the inning after allowing five runs. 

Two walks and a single loaded the bases with one out in the ninth.  A strikeout got the second out, but an error on Smith allowed two more runs to score for the final score.

Wallace says the team needs to forget this game and get to work on the next one. 

“If they don’t come in ready to play and motivated tomorrow, there’s something really wrong,” said Wallace.  “That was one of those games that speaks for itself and something needs to be seen tomorrow.”

Carolina continues the series against Lynchburg on Tuesday with Michael Peoples getting the start.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:15.

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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.

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