By Darren Headrick / Carolina Mudcats (email@example.com)
Zebulon, NC April 8, 2013 – Down five runs going into the eighth, the Carolina Mudcats made a late surge to overtake the visiting Wilmington Blue Rocks, but the rally fell short in a 7-6 loss on Monday night at Five County Stadium. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak to begin the year for the Mudcats (3-1). Meanwhile, the Blue Rocks won their second straight to improve to 2-2.
Cody Fassold (1-0) was the winning pitcher in relief for Wilmington. The right-hander held the Mudcats to a run on two hits over three innings. Will Roberts’ (0-1) first start for Carolina did not go as planned. The Blue Rocks hit the right-hander for seven runs on eight hits.
The Mudcats struck first for the fourth straight game when Jake Lowery doubled home Bryson Myles for a 1-0 lead in the second. However, the Blue Rocks came right back in the third to knot the score thanks to a run on two hits.
The Blue Rocks took the lead for good in the fourth inning. Three straight singles against Roberts loaded the bases, and Daniel Mateo smashed a double to the gap in left-center to clear the bags for a 4-1 lead. Mateo later scored on a sacrifice fly by Parker Morin to make it 5-1.
After the Mudcats got a run back in the fifth on a Francisco Lindor single, the Blue Rocks’ Mateo and Kenny Diekroeger hit back-to-back home runs off Roberts for a 7-2 lead.
In the eighth, Charlie Valerio singled in a run to cut the deficit to four, setting up the ninth. With two out, one on and down to his last strike, Anthony Gallas laced a double to the left-center fence to make it 7-4. Joey Wendle followed with a single to right, putting runners at the corners. Bryson Myles followed with a double to right that scored Gallas and Wendle before the comeback ended on a groundout to first.
The Mudcats face the Wilmington Blue Rocks at Five County Stadium for the second of three games Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m. Right-hander Jordan Cooper will throw against Blue Rocks southpaw Sam Selman. Tickets can be purchased by calling (919) 269-2287 or visiting carolinamudcats.com.