Mudcats outlast Dash in Mother's Day marathon

Posted May 14

Mitch Ghelfi walked with the bases loaded in the ninth to force in the game winner as the Mudcats finished off a three game sweep of the Dash with an 11-10 walk off win on Sunday afternoon at Five County Stadium.

The Mudcats (18-18) started the ninth down 10-9, but rallied back with two runs while wrapping up the sweep and winning their fifth straight game overall. The home win also lifted the Mudcats back to a .500 record for the first since the club was 8-8 on April 23.

The Dash (12-24) originally came back from a 7-2 deficit in the fourth with three in the fifth, one in the seventh and eventually four in the eighth to take a 10-9 lead in Sunday’s, Mother’s Day, series finale.

Carolina’s two run ninth was aided by a failed double play turn that allowed Isan Diaz to score the tying run and eventually Ryan Riga’s base loaded walk of Ghelfi to force in the game winner.

Riga (BS, 0-1, 2.30) suffered the loss and worked only the ninth while retiring just one batter. He gave up Diaz’s double, saw Jake Gatewood reach on an infield single, saw Lucas Erceg reach on a failed double play attempt, struck out Trent Clark and intentionally walked Troy Stokes Jr. before walking Ghelfi to end the game.

Diaz doubled with one out to start the ninth inning rally and was 2-for-5 with two runs, two RBIs and a two-run home run. His home run came at the end of a six run fourth and was his team best seventh of the season. It was also his second home run in the last two games and, at the time, gave the Mudcats a 7-2 lead.

Luis Aviles was 2-for-5 with a run and a three-run double for the Mudcats. His double came during the six run fourth as well and was hit off Dash starter Dane Dunning. Ghelfi also had a two-out run scoring single off Dunning in the fourth as the Mudcats scored six times with two outs in the inning.

Gatewood was 2-for-5 with two runs in the game for the Mudcats and stretched his hitting streak to 23 consecutive games. His first hit was an infield single in the second and later led to the game’s first run. His 23 game hitting streak has matched the Mudcats franchise record for consecutive games with a hit, tying him with Bryson Myles of the 2013 Mudcats.

Dunning left during the fourth and finished with four runs (three earned) allowed on three hits. He also walked four and struck out seven while going through three and 2/3 innings for the Dash. Kelvis Valerio also worked the fourth and ended up allowing five runs on five hits over an inning and 1/3.

Marcos Diplan started for Carolina and worked through four and 1/3 innings with five runs allowed on six hits. He also walked five and struck out seven before handing the ball over to Freddy Peralta in the fifth. Diplan gave up two in the third while losing a 1-0 lead and later allowed three more runs in the fifth before leaving the game.

Peralta shut down the Dash in the fifth while holding Carolina’s (then) 7-5 lead, but later gave up a home run to Zack Collins in the seventh (cutting the lead to 9-6) and allowed three runs in the eighth before exiting. Jon Olczak followed Peralta and went on to walk in a run as well and the Dash managed to take a 10-9 lead.

Peralta and Olczak (1-1, 6.17) combined to issue three bases loaded walks during the four run Winston-Salem eighth. Two of the three bases loaded free passes were issued by Peralta and were his only two walks of the game. The Mudcats were also charged with two errors in the four run Winston-Salem eighth, making all four runs unearned for Peralta.

Peralta pitched through three innings with six strikeouts, two walks and five runs (one earned) allowed on just two hits. Olczak pitched through an inning and 2/3 with two walks, three strikeouts and one hit allowed.

The Dash also used pitchers Jack Charleston and Yelmison Peralta out of the bullpen. Charleston walked one and struck out one over two scoreless and Peralta struck out two while allowing just one hit over and inning and 1/3.

UP NEXT: The Mudcats will continue their home stand on Monday night with game one of four versus the Down East Wood Ducks at Five County Stadium. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and will feature Conor Harber (1-2, 3.20) starting for Carolina versus Down East’s Pedro Payano (0-2, 5.06).

Monday’s game will air on the Mudcats Radio Network, The Big Dawg 98.5 FM, via TuneIn Radio and on Coverage will begin at 6:45 p.m. with the Mudcats Pregame Show.


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