Hillcats foil late rally to beat Mudcats
Posted August 29
Zebulon, N.C. — The Carolina Mudcats loaded the bases in the ninth inning, but fell to the visiting Lynchburg Hillcats 6-2 on Thursday night at Five County Stadium. Coupled with Salem’s loss to Frederick, the Mudcats (32-33, 61-71) remain one game back of the Red Sox for the Southern Division wildcard. The Hillcats (32-33, 66-69) maintain a one-game lead for the Northern Division wildcard spot.
Blair Walters (6-1) was strong in the Hillcats’s victory, yielding two hits across six scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out five. The long ball proved the undoing of Mudcats’ starter D.J. Brown (3-8). The right-hander surrendered a pair of two-run homers across his six innings of work. He allowed five runs on nine hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
After a scoreless stalemate through three innings, Jose Martinez broke the seal with a two-run shot in the fourth. Tyler Tewell followed with a double and scored from third on a sac-fly from Johan Camargo. Leading 3-0 in the fifth, the Hillcats went up five when Kevin Ahrens clubbed a two-out, two-run shot off the left field scoreboard.
The Hillcats capped their scoring in the seventh when Eric Garcia worked a leadoff walk off reliever Benny Suarez and crossed home on a two-out single by Ahrens.
Mauricio Cabrera entered in the ninth for Lynchburg, but issued three straight walks to spark the Mudcats’ final surge. Cabrera was immediately lifted for Navery Moore after the third base on balls. Luigi Rodriguez punched a single to left that brought in Joe Sever to end the shutout. James Roberts reached on a force-out at second off a tremendous pick at first by Ahrens. Eric Haase scored on the grounder, but the Moore settled in to retire the final two hitters.
The Mudcats conclude their series against the Hillcats with the final Friday Night Fireworks of 2014. First pitch against Lynchburg is set for 7 p.m. inside Five County Stadium and gates open at 6 p.m.