Ronny Rodriguez error costs Mudcats 7-5 loss
ZEBULON- The Carolina Mudcats blew a 5-4 lead in the ninth inning, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans would use a comedy of Mudcats’ errors to win the game by a final score of 7-5.
T.J. House took the mound for the Mudcats, coming off being named the Cleveland Indians minor league Player of the Week. The lefty entered the night having yet to yield an earned run through his first two starts, which extended over a period of 13 innings.
The Pelicans seemed unfazed by this as they were able to get off to a quick start, scoring runs in each of the first three innings.
After a lead off double in the top of the first by shortstop Odubel Herrera and a wild pitch, first baseman Yefrey Castillo was able to hit a grounder to second, scoring Herrera from third, giving the Pelicans the early 1-0 lead. This was the first earned run that House had allowed on the season.
The Mudcats would strike back in the bottom of the first off Pelican starter Kyle Hendricks as center fielder Tyler Holt was able to reach on an infield single and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wolters. With Third Baseman Giovanny Urshela batting, Holt took off for third and was able to easily trot home to tie the game at one after Urshela was able to punch a ball to right for a base-hit.
The Pelicans would score again in the next inning when second baseman Edwin Garcia was able to draw a two-out walk. He was then able to advance to second on a wild pitch by House. With Garcia on second, Left Fielder Teodoro Martinez was able to pop up a high fly ball in front of home plate. The ball was hit high enough for Garcia to round third and head towards home and when Lowery was unable to come up with the catch Garcia was able to cross home for the Pelicans second run of the game, giving them a 2-1 lead.
The Pelicans looked to strike again in the third as the first two men were able to reach base. But House was able to get catcher Tomas Telis to ground in to a double play giving him the opportunity to get out of the inning unscathed. Centerfielder Jack Skole was able to hit a bounding ball up the middle just over the outstretched glove of House giving pesky Yefrey Castillo, who had led off the inning with a single, the opportunity to score from third to give the Pelicans a 3-1 lead.
The Mudcats were able to counter in their half of the third as Urshela was able to drive a ball off the left field wall, allowing Holt to come around from first to score the Mudcats second run. Following the double, first baseman Jesus Aguilar was able to tie the game at three, as he stroked a single to center allowing Urshela to come around from second to score.
The Mudcats were able to strike against the Pelicans bullpen in the sixth as reliever Ben Rowan gave up a one-out double to right fielder Carlos Moncrief. Moncrief was able to come around to score on left fielder Delvi Cid’s single to right giving the Mudcats their first lead of the game 4-3.
Kyle Petter, who was just called up from Lake County, made his Mudcat debut coming out of the pen in relief of House in the seventh. Petter wouldn’t get any help from his defense as Castillo was able to lead off the inning on an error by Ronny Rodriguez. Telis was then able to hit a double down the left field line that went right underneath Urshela’s glove at third putting men on second and third with only one out. Following a strike out, Petter would walk back-to-back men, allowing Castillo to score to tie the game at four. Petter got out of the inning without any further damage, inducing a groundout by Garcia.
In the eighth Moncreif was able to show off his power with a solo shot to right field. This would mark the second time in two nights that the Mudcats were able to take the lead in the eighth inning off the Pelicans bullpen. Manager Edwin Rodriguez was pleased with Moncrief’s late-inning at bat. “He has plenty of power,” the Mudcats’ skipper said, “and he was looking for one pitch in that situation and he got the pitch and he knew what to do with it.”
For the second straight night, the Mudcats bullpen was unable to hold the lead, as a costly error by shortstop Ronny Rodriguez with two outs in the ninth allowed the Pelicans to score the tying run. Shortstop Odubel Herrara then was able to follow up the error with a double off Mudcats reliever Dale Dickerson to left center scoring two runs, which would end up being all the Pelicans would need as they wound up winning 7-5.
Rodriguez had a rough game in the field as he compiled three errors in the game but he wasn’t the only Mudcat to have problems, as second baseman Tony Wolters and catcher Jake Lowery both had errors of their own. The combined five errors in the game would be crucial in the loss and one that manager Edwin Rodriguez was not too pleased with. The frustrated manager opined that “…when you make five errors in one game it’s tough to win.” Those five errors resulted in five un-earned runs, really crippling the Mudcats chances tonight.
Edwin Rodriguez had one final simple remark about the defense, and that really says it all. “We have to catch the ball.” Tonight, the Mudcats simply couldn’t get the job done.
The Mudcats will look to bounce back after back to back heartbreaking loses on Saturday, as they continue their series with the Pelicans at 6:15 in Five Country Stadium.