Five-Run Eighth Dooms Mudcats in 7-3 Loss to Dash
ZEBULON, NC - Eddie Silva went 2-for-4 with a RBI double and Trever Morrison, Devin Hairston and Wes Rogers each singled and scored a run, but the Carolina bullpen lost a one run lead in the eighth during a 7-3 series opening loss to the Winston-Salem Dash on Tuesday night in Zebulon.
Carolina (60-60, 21-30) originally led 2-0 after the third and had a 3-2 lead going into the eighth before the Dash (61-53, 23-27) rallied for five runs while taking a 7-3 lead in the game. Winston-Salem's five run eighth included a run scoring hit-by-pitch from Steele Walker and back-to-back run scoring hits from Tyler Frost and Andrew Vaughn. All five runs also scored with two outs in the inning and were allowed in by relievers Michael Petersen and Anthony Bender.
Petersen (L, 1-2, 3.19) took the loss despite originally stranding three inherited runners on base in the seventh while holding a 3-2 Carolina lead. He returned for the eighth and retired two straight in the frame before then walking three straight batters and leaving the game. Bender (BS, 2) followed and went on to hit Walker to force in the tying run and then allowed the run scoring hits to Frost and Vaught.
Frost, in what was his first game back off the injured list, went 3-for-4 with three RBI in the game for the Dash. Vaughn was 2-for-3 with two RBI and Walker went 1-for-3 with a run and a RBI.
The Mudcats had first built their lead in the game after scoring twice in the third before seeing the Dash answer with one in the fourth. Morrison led off the two run third with a hit-by-pitch and Rogers went on to drive him in with a single to center off starter Zach Lewis. Tristen Lutz then followed with a sacrifice fly while stretching the lead to 2-0.
The Dash cut the Carolina lead to 2-1 in the fourth when Vaughn doubled and scored on a RBI double from Jameson Fisher. A run scoring double, however, from Silva in the fifth put Carolina up two again at 3-1, but Tate Blackman singled and scored on a double by Frost in the seventh to once again cut the lead to one at 3-2.
Rogers went 1-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored in the loss for Carolina. Lutz, meanwhile, went 2-for-4 with a double, a sac fly and a RBI. Silva went 2-for-4 with a RBI double in the game for the Mudcats. Morrison and Hairston, meanwhile, both went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Carolina led 3-2 going into the eighth, but ended up seeing that slip away as they lost for just the fourth time this season (50-4) when leading after seven innings.
Matt Hardy started and struck out three over three scoreless innings. He walked two, allowed one hit and struck out the side in the third before leaving the game. J.T. Hintzen pitched the next three frames and allowed a run on three hits. Hintzen also struck out four and walked one while reaching 54 pitches (32 strikes).
Robbie Hitt then entered for the seventh, but retired only two batters before leaving the game with the bases loaded. Petersen followed and struck out Craig Dedelow to escape the bases loaded jam, but then went on to walk three before leaving the game with two outs in the eighth. Petersen was charged with three earned runs over one full inning in the loss. Bender was charged with two runs allowed and also allowed in three inherited runners to score while suffering a blown save.
Lewis ended up with a no-decision after pitching through the fifth with three runs (two earned) allowed on five hits in his start for the Dash. He also walked one and struck out three. Jose Nin (W, 4-3, 4.31) later earned the win after working two scoreless frames in relief of Lewis. Jake Elliot and Will Kincanon went on to finish the game with both turning in scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth respectively.
The series opening victory gave the Dash a one game to none lead in the current series. The loss, meanwhile, was Carolina's third straight and dropped the club to 1-3 in the current home stand.
The series and home stand will continue on Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m. in Zebulon for Education Day at Five County Stadium. RHP Christian Taugner (5-7, 4.78) will start for the Mudcats in Wednesday's day game versus the Dash.
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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