Carolina Falls 5-2 in Home Finale
ZEBULON - Noah Campbell drove in two runs with a two-run double in the first, but the Wood Ducks went on to score five unanswered runs the rest of the way while defeating the Mudcats 5-2 in Carolina's 2021 home finale on Sunday afternoon at Five County Stadium.
Carolina (65-49) lead 2-0 after getting Campbell's RBI double in the first, but the Wood Ducks (68-46) went on to tie the game with a two-run home run from Randy Florentino in the second. Aaron Zavala then broke the tie with a solo home run in the third to lift Down East to a 3-2 lead. A run-scoring double from Cody Freeman made it 4-2 in the sixth and a solo home run from Thomas Saggese in the same frame made it 5-2.
Down East's Owen White earned the victory after totaling 10 strikeouts over six innings pitched. Of his 10 punchouts, three came in the fifth after he allowed back-to-back singles to start the inning. The Wood Ducks led 3-2 at the time, but went up 5-2 shortly after his three strikeout inning. White (2-1, 3.51) scattered seven hits and allowed just the two first inning runs while winning his second straight start.
Brailin Rodriguez ended up with the loss after allowing three runs over three innings pitched. All three runs allowed by Rodriguez (0-1, 6.00) were allowed in on the homers by Freeman and Zavala. Rodriguez had allowed just one home run over his first 22 games dating back to the 2019 season before allowing two in Sunday's loss.
Relievers Nate Peden and James Meeker followed Rodriguez, with Peden allowing two runs over three innings and Meeker turning in another scoreless appearance. Peden allowed the two sixth inning runs, but stayed in through the seventh before leaving in the eighth. Meeker then entered and left an inherited runner on base before working a scoreless ninth. Meeker has now appeared in 10 games with the Mudcats and has still yet to allow an earned run. The right-handed throwing Meeker owns a 0.00 ERA over 15.0 innings with Carolina and has only allowed two unearned runs this season.
The loss dropped Carolina to 3.0 games back of the Wood Ducks in the Low-A East Central Division standings. Pending the result of the Salem Red Sox game later in the night, the loss also pushed Carolina's elimination number for a post-season berth to three with six games remaining.
Carolina finished the home schedule at 40-20, but went 40-19 when playing at Five County Stadium. The Mudcats had a postponement earlier in the year that forced them to play as the home team once in Fayetteville in late June. Carolina lost that game, thus resulting in their 40-20 mark at home in 2021.
Down East HR : Florentino (3, 2nd inning off Rodriguez, 1 on, 2 out); Zavala (1, 3rd inning off Rodriguez, 0 on, 1 out); Saggese (10, 6th inning off Peden, 0 on, 2 out).
TOP PERFORMERS - BATTERS:
Campbell, LF (Carolina): 1-for-4, 0 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI
Murray, 3B (Carolina): 2-for-4, 0 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Binelas, 1B (Carolina): 1-for-4, 1 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Freeman, DH (Down East): 3-for-4, 0 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Saggese, 3B (Down East): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Zavala, RF (Down East): 1-for-4, 1 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Florentino, C (Down East): 1-for-4, 1 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
TOP PERFORMERS - PITCHERS:
White (W, 2-1) (Carolina): 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO
Tejada (H, 1) (Carolina): 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO
Manon (S, 6) (Carolina): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Rodriguez (L, 0-1) (Down East): 3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO
Peden (Down East): 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Guerrero (Down East): 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO
Meeker (Down East): 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO
Mudcats 1st (Mudcats 2, Wood Ducks 0) -- Ethan Murray strikes out swinging. Tyler Black grounds out, Luisangel Acuna to Cristian Inoa. Alex Binelas singles to left-center field. Micah Bello singles through the hole at shortstop, Alex Binelas to 2nd. Noah Campbell doubles to right field, Alex Binelas scores; Micah Bello scores; Noah Campbell out at 3rd on the throw, Aaron Zavala to Luisangel Acuna to Thomas Saggese.
(2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB)
Wood Ducks 2nd (Wood Ducks 2, Mudcats 2) -- Keyber Rodriguez walks. Cody Freeman grounds into double play, Eduardo Garcia to Zack Raabe to Alex Binelas, Keyber Rodriguez out at 2nd, Cody Freeman out at 1st. Thomas Saggese doubles to right field. Randy Florentino hits a home run to right field on a 1-0 pitch, Thomas Saggese scores. Angel Aponte pops out to Alex Binelas in foul territory.
(2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB)
Wood Ducks 3rd (Wood Ducks 3, Mudcats 2) -- Alejandro Osuna lines out to Alex Binelas. Aaron Zavala hits a home run to right field on a 2-0 pitch. Luisangel Acuna flies out to Hedbert Perez. Cristian Inoa pops out to Eduardo Garcia.
(1 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB)
Wood Ducks 6th (Wood Ducks 5, Mudcats 2) -- Cristian Inoa lines out to Noah Campbell. Keyber Rodriguez hit by pitch. Cody Freeman doubles to right field, Keyber Rodriguez scores; Cody Freeman out at 3rd on the throw, Micah Bello to Eduardo Garcia to Ethan Murray. Thomas Saggese hits a home run to left field on a 2-1 pitch. Randy Florentino strikes out swinging.
(2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB)
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