Dash Drop Mudcats 4-2 in Zebulon
ZEBULON, NC - Payton Henry had a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh, reliever Phil Bickford struck out five over two and 1/3 scoreless innings and Wes Rogers went 1-for-3 with a RBI triple, but the Mudcats dropped the middle game of a three-game series 4-2 to the Dash on Wednesday at Five County Stadium.
The Dash (24-27, 62-53) scored twice in the third, once in the fourth and once in the fifth while scoring all four of their runs over the first half of Wednesday's middle game of the series. All four of those runs were allowed in by starter Christian Taugner who ended up taking the loss for the Mudcats (21-31, 60-61).
Taugner (L, 5-8, 4.83) pitched into the fifth, but fell an out shy of completing the frame while pitching through four and 2/3 innings with four runs (three earned) allowed on seven hits. He also struck out four and ended up walking three, including two straight in the fifth before leaving the game. His final walk in the fifth scored a run for the Dash as it came with the bases loaded. Phil Bickford went on to follow Taugner in relief and escaped the bases loaded jam he inherited from Carolina's starter with his first of five strikeouts in the game.
Bickford pitched through two and 1/3 scoreless innings in his relief appearance while totaling five strikeouts over eight batters faced. He also stranded three inherited runners, allowed one hit and ran his scoreless innings streak to 16.1 consecutive frames. Chad Whitmer replaced Bickford in the eighth and went on to finish the game with two scoreless frames with two strikeouts.
Winston-Salem's Andrew Vaughn drove in the first two runs of the game with a two-run double to right-center off Taugner in the third while putting the Dash up 2-0. Mitch Roman doubled and scored on a dropped fly ball in left by Rogers in the fourth and Yeyson Yrizarri walked with the bases loaded to score Jameson Fisher for Winston-Salem's final run of the game in the fifth. Vaughn went 1-for-5 with a two RBI, Roman went 3-for-4 with a run and Fisher was 2-for-5 with a run scored as well.
Jorgan Cavanerio started for the Dash and earned the victory after holding the Mudcats to one unearned run and one hit over five innings pitched. Cavanerio (W, 8-2, 3.00) walked one and totaled four strikeouts while reaching 61 pitches (44 strikes) and while leading the Dash to the series clinching victory.
Carolina's two runs in the game came across in the fourth and seventh innings after Rogers tripled and scored in the fourth and when Henry came through with his pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh. Those two runs were all that Carolina scored in the game as they were held to just two hits in the series clinching loss by Cavanerio and relievers Wyatt Burns (1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO), Caleb Frare (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO) and Bennett Sousa (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 SO).
Henry's pinch-hit at bat came at the result of Carolina losing its designated hitter in the fifth after Devin Hairston was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Kyle Nichol. That ejecting caused Brice Turang to move from DH to short and thus forcing the pitcher into the ninth spot in the lineup. Henry then hit in place of Bickford and drove in Nathan Rodriguez from second after Rodriguez had walked earlier in the inning while batting against Burns. Burns also allowed Henry's hit and totaled one run allowed on one hit over an inning and 2/3 pitched. He also walked three and struck out two.
Rogers went 1-for-3 with a run and a triple in the loss for the Mudcats. Henry was 1-for-1 with his two-out, pinch-hit RBI single. That two-out RBI single also brought his overall RBI total to 67 on the year and accounted for his league leading 35th two-out RBI on the season.
Carolina fell behind two games to none in the series with Wednesday's middle game loss. They also dropped to 1-4 in the current home stand while also suffering their fourth straight loss. The series and home stand will conclude on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. in Zebulon with Thirsty Thursday and ECU Night at Five County Stadium. Thursday's game will feature a co-branded ECU and Mudcats themed souvenir hat giveaway for the first 500 fans in attendance at Five County Stadium.
The game will air live on the Mudcats Radio Network and online at carolinamudcats.com via TuneIn Radio. The game will also stream live in full high-definition video on MiLB.tv via Minor League Baseball's subscription service.
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