Feliciano Homers in 5-2 Loss to Pelicans
ZEBULON, N.C. - Mario Feliciano hit his league leading 15th home run of the season, but it proved to be too little, too late as the Pelicans won Wednesday's series opener 5-2 versus the Mudcats at Five County Stadium. Feliciano went 2-for-4 with a double and a home run in the loss for the Carolina.
The Mudcats (13-14, 52-44) scored just the two late runs in the series opening loss to Myrtle Beach (15-12, 36-58). The Pelicans, meanwhile, scored once in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings while taking the first game of the series and handing Carolina its fourth straight loss.
Matt Smith started for the Carolina and took the loss after allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits while pitching into the fifth. Smith (L, 3-8, 3.35) also walked one and struck out three while reaching 74 pitches (46 strikes).
Jack Patterson started for the Pelicans and earned the win after holding Carolina scoreless over five and 1/3 innings pitched. Patterson (W, 2-0, 0.00) began the game with nine straight outs before allowing a lead off infield single to Brice Turang in the fourth. He also gave up Feliciano's double in the fourth, but did not allow another hit in his outing. In all, Patterson struck out four, walked two and induced seven groundouts against one flyout in the series opening victory.
Grant Fennel went 2-for-3 with a RBI and scored the first run of the game in the third for Myrtle Beach. He started the third with a single before later scoring on a sac fly from Carlos Sepulveda.
The Pelicans then took a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Tyler Payne brought in Tyler Durna from first with a triple off the base of the center field wall. Durna also scored in the eighth on a sacrifice fly from Kevonte Mitchell and was 1-for-3 with two runs and two walks for the Pelicans.
Sepulveda scored the third Myrtle Beach run as he came across in the fifth on a single from Delvin Zinn to put them 3-0. The Myrtle Beach lead then went to 4-0 in the sixth after Payne was hit by a pitch before scoring on a RBI double from Fennell. Payne finished the game 1-for-3 with a triple, a run and a RBI.
Relievers J.T. Hintzen, Michael Petersen and Anthony Bender all appeared in the game for the Mudcats. Hintzen allowed Payne's run in the sixth, but went through two and 1/3 innings with a run, one walk and three strikeouts in place of Smith. He also stranded an inherited runner while reaching 39 pitches (22 strikes) in the game. Petersen walked three in the eighth, but ended up allowing just one run while working through a full innings. Bender then walked one, but pitched a clean ninth to finish the game.
Enrique De Los Rios, Ryan Lawlor and Ethan Roberts allowed followed Patterson out of the pen for the Pelicans. De Los Rios left an inherited runner on in the sixth and pitched through an inning and 2/3 overall without allowing a run. He also scattered three hits and struck out one.
Lawlor, a former Mudcat who pitched for Carolina in 2016, allowed Feliciano's home run in the eighth, but struck out two in his appearance.
Roberts (S, 1) then worked a scoreless, three-up and three-down, ninth to finish the game and earn his first save of the season.
Feliciano led the way for the Carolina offense in the loss after going 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and a double. The home run was Feliciano's first since June 7. He had gone 31 games without a home run before connecting on his league leading 15th on Wednesday night. Turang went 1-for-3 with Carolina's first hit of the game in the fourth, Rob Henry doubled while going 1-for-3 and Eddie Silva went 1-for-4 with a single.
The loss was Carolina's fourth straight and the club's sixth since winning six straight in their last home stand from July 4 through July 9. Carolina is just 1-6 over its last seven games.
The home series will continue on Thursday night with game two of the three game series beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Five County Stadium. Thursday's game will feature the Mudcats playing as the "Carolina Micro Brews." Thursday's game is also Negro League Appreciation Night presented by the City of Rocky Mount.
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.
Individual game tickets, season ticket plans, group ticket packages and the latest mini plans are all available now by visiting the Five County Stadium front office, by calling (919) 269-CATS (2287) and by visiting carolinamudcats.com/tickets.
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Mario Feliciano of the Carolina Mudcats rounds the bases
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