Lutz and Henry Homer as Mudcats Win 7-5 in Historic Night in Fayetteville
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Tristen Lutz broke a 5-5 tie in the top half of the ninth with a two-run home run and Rodrigo Benoit worked a clean frame in the bottom side as the Mudcats won the first ever game at SEGRA Stadium in Fayetteville 7-5 versus the Woodpeckers on Thursday night.
The victory was Carolina's third straight and gave them a 1-0 lead in the four game set at SEGRA Stadium against the Woodpeckers (8-7). The Mudcats (9-6) won, what ended up being a see-saw affair, with help of big nights and big swings from Payton Henry, Joantgel Segovia and Lutz. They were also led by strong pitching as starter Noah Zavolas (6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 7 SO) totaled a career high seven strikeouts over a career best six innings in his first career quality start.
Henry went 2-for-5 in the game for the Mudcats with a solo home run in the second and a two-run, two-out RBI double in the fifth. Henry's homer in the second was his first of the season and the first in SEGRA Stadium history. The second inning homer also gave the Mudcats a 1-0 lead in the game. Meanwhile, his two-run double in the fifth gave brought the Mudcats back from a 2-1 deficit and into a 3-2 lead.
Henry's clutch double in the fifth followed a home run from Seth Beer and a RBI double from Jacob Meyers in the fourth. Fayetteville had a 2-1 lead going into the fifth, but Henry erased that with his two-out run scoring double off reliever Hunter Martin.
Carolina then took a 5-2 lead when Segovia came through with a two-run double off reliever Leovanny Rodriguez in the sixth. Rodriguez (1-1, 4.15) eventually settled in after allowing Segovia's hit and went on to retire eight straight before leaving in the ninth. It was another hit by Segovia late in the ninth that knocked Rodriguez out of the game. Segovia went 2-for-4 with two runs in the game for the Mudcats.
While Rodriguez kept Carolina in check, the Fayetteville offense went on to rally for three runs against Carolina's bullpen to tie the game at 5-5. Michael Petersen was the first Carolina reliever into the game and he was greeted by a mammoth solo home run to center from Nate Shaver. Petersen (1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB) ended up allowing two runs in the seventh and Matt Hardy (W, 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 SO) allowed one more in the eighth while seeing the lead slip away.
The game was locked at 5-5 in the ninth, but the Woodpeckers were forced to go to their pen again after Segovia singled off Rodriguez and after Rodriguez hit his pitch limit. Carlos Sanabria, pitching with Segovia at first, entered and struck out Ryan Aguilar before allowing Lutz's home run to left-center. Like Henry, Lutz's homer was first of the season as well.
Carolina homered twice in the game with both Henry and Lutz collecting their first home runs of the season. It was also Carolina's fourth straight game with at least one home run.
UP NEXT: The Mudcats will look for their fourth straight victory when they take on the Woodpeckers again on Friday night at SEGRA Stadium. Carolina has won three straight game against Fayetteville and lead the overall season series 3-1. Dylan File (0-2 6.30) will start for the Mudcats in Friday's 7:00 p.m. game at Fayetteville. The game will air live on the Mudcats Radio Network, the Big Dawg 98.5 FM and online at carolinamudcats.com via TuneIn Radio.
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