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Mudcats rally falls short, lose ninth straight to Potomac

Posted August 17, 2014

— The Carolina Mudcats turned a four-run deficit into a one-run thriller in the ninth inning on Sunday night, but ultimately fell 7-6 to the Potomac Nationals at Pfitzner Stadium.

The Nationals (29-22, 67-53) won nine straight to finish the season set against the Mudcats (25-30, 54-68), finishing 15-4. 11 of Potomac’s 15 wins against Carolina were by two runs or less and included three straight one-run wins.

Cole Sulser (4-12) was hooked for the loss after allowing four runs on three hits in only three innings of work. Cody Davis (2-0) was awarded the win after two scoreless frames in relief. Jake Walsh pitched out of the ninth-inning trouble for his first save.

The Mudcats opened the scoring with some big knocks in the first inning. Jerrud Sabourin smashed a single to left off P-Nats’ starter Matt Swynenberg with two out. Alex Monsalve launched a triple into the right-center gap to score Sabourin. Eric Haase immediately followed with a double lined into the left corner to bring around Monsalve. LeVon Washington reached safely to first when Swynenberg missed the bag on a grounder and Haase scored on the error.

Trailing 3-0 after two hitless innings, the Nationals erupted for four runs off Sulser in the third. Khayyan Norfork reached on a bunt single to third and Sulser issued consecutive walks to load the bases. Tony Renda singled home Norfork to cut the lead to two. With two strikes, a pitch plunked Randolph Oduber to force in another run. Stephen Perez pushed the P-Nats ahead with a two-run poke into left.

Isaac Ballou hit a sac-fly to left that scored Norfork in the fourth inning for a 5-1 lead and Mike McQuillan cracked a two-run shot off reliever Jacob Lee in the fifth for a 7-3 advantage.

Luigi Rodriguez sparked Carolina’s final surge by lining a hit to left on the outset of the ninth. James Roberts singled to right and Logan Vick worked a walk to load the bases. Walsh relieved Bryan Harper, but immediately walked Yhoxian Medina to force in a run. Yandy Diaz stroked a single into center that scored Roberts and Vick. The Mudcats were able to push the tying run to third on a grounder by Monsalve before Walsh induced a bouncer to short to seal the game.

The Mudcats return home to host the Frederick Keys for three games from August 19-21. The series opens with “Dollar Dog Night” on Tuesday, August 19. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. and the gates open at 6 p.m.

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