Carolina Closes First Half with 6-2 Home Loss to Winston-Salem
ZEBULON, N.C. - Clayton Andrews went 3-for-5 with a run scoring single, Cody Beckman struck out four over three scoreless relief innings and Pat McInerney went 1-for-4 with a triple, but the Mudcats lost Sunday's first half finale 6-2 to the visiting Dash on Father's Day at Five County Stadium.
The Dash (38-26) scored five runs over the first two innings while taking an early 5-0 lead on starter Matt Smith and the Mudcats (39-30). Their three run first included a two-out RBI triple from Craig Dedelow, a run scoring wild pitch lost by Smith (L, 2-6, 4.12) and a catching error by McInerney at third that allowed Carlos Perez. Perez had walked and went to third on a single from JJ Muno earlier in the first before scoring to put Winston-Salem up 3-0 in the game.
Winston-Salem had a 3-0 lead after one, but then went up 5-0 in the game when Steele Walker connected on a two-run home run to right. Walker also homered on Friday night when he hit for the cycle against Carolina at Five County Stadium.
Smith ended up with the loss after allowing the five early runs and pitching through just the third in his start. He allowed five runs on six hits overall and allowed his ninth home run of the season on Sunday. Smith also walked one in the first and one in the second; both walks would be turned into runs by the visiting Dash.
Jorgan Cavanerio started for the Dash and picked up the win after pitching through five strong innings with one unearned run allowed on five hits. Cavanerio (W, 3-0, 3.31) struck out five and induced seven ground outs against three fly outs in the Sunday matinee victory.
Beckman and Justin Topa followed in relief of Smith and went on to hold the Dash scoreless from the fourth through the eighth while combining on five scoreless frames. Beckman worked through three scoreless with one hit allowed and four strikeouts. Topa pitched through two innings with a walk and two strikeouts.
Carolina eventually came back with a run in the fifth and seventh to cut the lead to 5-2, but Winston-Salem brought across one more in the ninth while taking Sunday's series and first half finale 6-2.
Carolina's lone run in the fifth came in after Devin Hairston singled, moved to third on a hit by Andrews and then scored on a fielding error at second on a ball put in play by Ryan Aguilar. Andrews later singled in Carolina's second run in the seventh after connecting on his third hit of the game.
Andrews went 3-for-5 in the game for the Mudcats and drove in one. It was his first multi-hit game in his career and his first game with a RBI as a professional as well. McInerney went 1-for-4 with his second career triple and Wes Rogers went 1-for-4 with a double and a run in the game for the Mudcats.
Carolina had cut the lead to 5-2 entering the ninth, but the Dash went on to get one last run across in the ninth against reliever Matt Hardy while going up 6-2. Hardy hit Walker with a pitch and saw him score later in the inning on a sac fly from Perez.
Dash relievers Jake Elliott, Zach Lewis, Kevin Escorcia and Vince Arobio worked the final half of the game for Winston-Salem. Elliott struck out one over a scoreless frame, Lewis struck out two while allowing a run on three hits, Escorcia struck out two in the scoreless eighth and Arobio finished the game with a walk and a strikeout while working a scoreless ninth.
The loss came in the final game of the series and first half for the Mudcats. Carolina lost their final series with the Dash three games to one, but finished the first half with 39 wins while going 39-30 before the break. Carolina's 39 wins in the first half were the most for the Mudcats since the 2005 team went 41-27 in the first half of its season. Carolina also finished in third place in the first half Carolina League Southern Division standings behind first place Down East and second place Winston-Salem.
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