Wilmington crushes Carolina, 9-2
WILMINGTON - The Carolina Mudcats first game outside of North Carolina this season wasn’t pretty. The Wilmington Blue Rocks defeated the Mudcats 9-2 at Frawley Stadium on Monday night. Carolina is on a down swing, dropping two of their last three games, bringing their season record to 5-5.
For Carolina, the game didn’t begin as poorly as it ended. The Mudcats managed to gain an early 2-0 lead over the Blue Rocks in the top of the first inning. Back-to-back singles by center fielder Tyler Holt and shortstop Tony Wolters gave Carolina an early scoring threat. With two outs in the inning, Mudcats’ designated hitter Jeremie Tice ripped a double to left field that scored both Holt and Wolters, but that was all of the scoring that Carolina would do on the night.
The remainder of the evening belonged to the Blue Rocks as they proceeded to drive in nine runs off three Carolina pitchers. Mudcats’ pitcher Danny Salazar got the start and was able to hold Wilmington to three runs over four innings of work. Salazar was relieved after the fourth inning and Mudcats’ pitcher Brett Brach shut down the Wilmington offense when he retired the side in the bottom of the fifth.
For all of the good he did in the fifth, Brach wishes he could forget his performance in the sixth inning. With Wilmington clinging to a 3-2 lead, Brach had the chance to shut the Blue Rocks down. Instead, with the bases loaded on an intentional walk, Wilmington catcher Kevin David shot a ground ball double to left field that brought in two runs.
Brach loaded the bases once again when he struck Blue Rocks’ second baseman Luis Piterson with a pitch. The next batter, Wilmington’s designated hitter Angel Franco, hit a ground ball to Mudcats’ second baseman Ronny Rodriguez who made an error and allowed two more runs to score. With the score now 7-2 in favor of Wilmington, Brach gave up another single to Blue Rocks’ short stop Alex McClure that brought in two more runs.
Brach was replaced by Mudcats’ reliever Jose Flores after he threw a wild pitch and walked a batter, but the 9-2 deficit was too much for the team to overcome.
Blue Rocks’ catcher Kevin David went 4 for 4 with four RBI and two runs scored.
Mudcats’ catcher Jake Lowery was unable to get a hit off Wilmington pitchers ending his consecutive game hitting streak at seven.
Carolina will play game two of their three game series against Wilmington at 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday night.