Mudcats Win Second Straight 9-4 in Potomac
WOODBRIDGE, VA - Payton Henry had three hits, Ryan Aguilar went 2-for-5 with 2 RBI, Tristen Lutz scored twice while going 2-for-4 with a RBI triple and Nelson Hernandez worked through the fifth while earning the win as Carolina won its second straight 9-4 versus the Nationals on Saturday night in Potomac.
Carolina (2-1, 41-31) scored once in the first and brought across four in the fourth and ninth innings while winning their second straight game to take a 2-1 lead in the second half opening series. They also totaled 13 hits, including a three hit game from Payton Henry and two hit games from Ryan Aguilar, Tristen Lutz and Julio Garcia while defeating the Nationals (1-2, 31-39) in Potomac.
Payton Henry's first of his three hits in the game came in the first when he brought in Lutz from second with a RBI single to left. Henry's hit gave the Mudcats a 1-0 lead in the first, but the Nationals came right back with three runs to take the lead at 3-1 after one.
Potomac's three run first included a double from Cole Freeman and run scoring hits from Aldrem Corredor and Telmito Agustin. Agustin's hit brought in two and lifted the Nationals and starter Tim Cate to the early two run lead.
Cate (L, 0-1, 11.25) went on to hold the Mudcats scoreless over the next two frames before allowing four runs and five hits in the fourth. Cate ended up with the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits over four innings pitched. He also walked two and struck out four.
Carolina's four run fourth began with consecutive singles from Payton Henry, Rob Henry and Eddie Silva before Garcia tied the game with a groundball single to third that was misplayed by Potomac's Bryan Mejia. Mejia ended up missing first with an errant throw and both Henry and Henry scored to tie the game at 3-3. Devin Hairston broke the tie with a go-ahead sac fly and a wild pitch lost by Cates scored Garcia to put Carolina up 5-3.
The Mudcats scored four in the fourth to take a 5-3 lead and Hernandez (W, 7-5, 5.09) went on to hold the lead through his five inning start. Hernandez struck out one, walked two and allowed three runs on six hits in the victory.
Carolina had a 5-3 lead through the fourth, but would not score again until the ninth as relievers Aaron Fletcher and Frankie Bartow held them scoreless from the fifth through the eighth. Fletcher worked through two and 1/3 scoreless with two strikeouts and Bartow struck out one over an inning and 2/3.
The Nationals did pull within one of the lead in the sixth after getting a run across against reliever Matt Hardy. That lone run cut the lead to 5-4, but Hardy, Justin Topa and Rodrigo Benoit blanked the PNats the rest of the way while holding the lead and finishing the game.
Hardy (H, 4) stranded three in the sixth allowed just the one run on four hits over an inning and 2/3. Topa (H, 2) left two inherited runners on in the seventh and pitched through an inning and 1/3 scoreless. Benoit worked the ninth and worked through a scoreless frame with a strikeout and one hit allowed.
Carolina was up 5-4 entering the ninth before rallying for four runs and four hits against reliever Jhonathan German while breaking the game open and taking a 9-4 lead. Hairston started the ninth with a walk and Wes Rogers followed with a ground rule double to center. Aguilar then singled to center to drive in two and Lutz followed with a RBI triple. Feliciano capped the rally with a RBI single to center and in all Carolina would collect four straight hits, including three straight run scoring hits in their four run ninth.
The series will conclude on Sunday afternoon in Potomac with the finale of the four game set at Northwest Federal Field beginning at 1:05 p.m. 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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Carolina League Stories from June 22, 2019
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