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 Carolina Mudcats

Early Lead Not Enough in 6-3 Loss to Down East

August 29, 2023 - Carolina League (CarL)
Carolina Mudcats News Release

ZEBULON, N.C. - Jace Avina homered in the second, Juan Baez had two hits in his Class-A debut and starter Jesus Rivero struck out five over four and 1/3 no-hit innings, but the Down East Wood Ducks defeated the first-place Carolina Mudcats 6-3 on Tuesday night at Five County Stadium.

The Mudcats (32-23, 65-53) originally led 1-0 on Avina's team leading 15th home run of the season in the second and eventually 2-0 after getting a run across with help of an error in the third.

With reliever Tyler Wehrle pitching, the Wood Ducks (26-29, 63-53) went on to tie the game at 2-2 in the fifth after scoring twice on a throwing error by Baez before going up 3-2 in that same frame with a Gleider Figuereo RBI single.

Wehrle (L, 8-7) inherited a one-out, bases loaded jam from Rivero when he first entered in the game-changing fifth. He began his appearance by getting a grounder from Gutierrez to third, but Baez overthrew first while committing a two-run error. Figuereo followed with his RBI single as the Wood Ducks took their first lead.

Wehrle recorded two outs and allowed an unearned run while taking the loss. He also allowed two inherited runners to score. Those two runs were charged to Rivero who ended up going four and 1/3 no-hit frames with two runs, five walks, five strikeouts.

A Miguel Villarroel three-run double off reliever Alexander Vallecillo in the seventh put the game out of reach as the Wood Ducks took a commanding 6-2 lead. Vallecillo followed Wehrle and went three full innings with three runs on four hits. He also walked two and struck out three.

Carolina eventually scored once more in the eighth when Jose Sibrian brought in Jesus Chirinos with a two-out RBI single, but the Mudcats stranded four over the final two innings and 10 overall in the loss.

Newly added reliever Bayden Root also appeared for the Mudcats and gave them a scoreless ninth in his Class-A debut.

Despite the loss, the first-place Mudcats remained atop the Carolina League North second half standings by 2.0 games over Lynchburg and 2.5 games over Fredericksburg. The FredNats defeated the Hillcats earlier in the night with a walk-off home run in the ninth.

Carolina's series against the Wood Ducks continues on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Five County Stadium with LHP Brian Fitzpatrick starting for the Mudcats.


Villarroel, SS (Down East): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 3 RBI

Figuereo, 3B (Down East): 1-for-5, 1 RBI

Hurdle, 2B (Down East): 1-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB

Avina, LF (Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Sibrian, C (Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 RBI

Baez, J, 3B (Carolina): 2-for-5, 1 2B


MacLean (Down East): 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO

Bonzagni (W, 1-1) (Down East): 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO

Ramirez (S, 1) (Down East): 3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO

Rivero (Carolina): 4.1 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 5 SO

Root (Carolina): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO


Mudcats 2nd (Mudcats 1, Wood Ducks 0) -- Jesus Chirinos lines out to Miguel Villarroel. Jadher Areinamo grounds out, Devin Hurdle to Marcos Torres. Jace Avina hits a home run to left field on a 2-0 pitch. Jose Sibrian lines out to Miguel Villarroel. (1 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB)

Mudcats 3rd (Mudcats 2, Wood Ducks 0) -- Gregory Barrios flies out to JoJo Blackmon. Reidy Mercado doubles to left field. Dylan O'Rae reaches on throwing error by Devin Hurdle, Reidy Mercado scores. Juan Baez grounds into a force out, Devin Hurdle to Miguel Villarroel, Dylan O'Rae out at 2nd. Tayden Hall flies out to JoJo Blackmon. (1 Runs, 1 Hits, 1 Errors, 1 LOB)

Wood Ducks 5th (Wood Ducks 3, Mudcats 2) -- Anthony Calarco hit by pitch. Tommy Specht pops out to Juan Baez. Devin Hurdle walks, Anthony Calarco to 2nd. Marcos Torres walks, Anthony Calarco to 3rd; Devin Hurdle to 2nd. Pitcher Change: Tyler Wehrle replaces Jesus Rivero. Anthony Gutierrez reaches on throwing error by Juan Baez, Anthony Calarco scores; Devin Hurdle scores; Anthony Gutierrez to 2nd;Marcos Torres out at home, Jesus Chirinos to Gregory Barrios to Jose Sibrian. Gleider Figuereo singles to right field, Anthony Gutierrez scores. Miguel Villarroel strikes out swinging. (3 Runs, 1 Hits, 1 Errors, 1 LOB)

Wood Ducks 7th (Wood Ducks 6, Mudcats 2) -- Tommy Specht singles to right field, Tommy Specht out at 2nd on the throw, Reidy Mercado to Jadher Areinamo to Gregory Barrios. Devin Hurdle singles to left-center field. Marcos Torres singles to center field, Devin Hurdle to 2nd. Anthony Gutierrez walks, Devin Hurdle to 3rd; Marcos Torres to 2nd. Gleider Figuereo struck out looking. Miguel Villarroel doubles to left-center field, Devin Hurdle scores; Marcos Torres scores; Anthony Gutierrez scores. JoJo Blackmon strikes out swinging. (3 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB)

Mudcats 8th (Wood Ducks 6, Mudcats 3) -- Tayden Hall grounds out, Devin Hurdle to Marcos Torres. Jesus Chirinos walks. Jadher Areinamo strikes out swinging. Jace Avina singles to deep shortstop, Jesus Chirinos to 2nd. Jose Sibrian singles to left-center field, Jesus Chirinos scores; Jace Avina to 3rd. Gregory Barrios struck out looking. (1 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 LOB)

Single-game tickets, season ticket packages, mini plans, group options, as well as luxury suite packages and DRB Homes Sky Lounge reservations in the US Foods Club Level are also still available now by visiting, by calling (919) 269-2287, and by visiting the Five County Stadium front office in Zebulon.

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