Friday nights are fireworks nights for the Carolina Mudcats, and they started earlier than usual last night.
With seven runs on six hits — all for extra bases — the Mudcats lit up the scoreboard and cruised to a 9-2 win over Potomac in the teams’ first-ever meeting.
In what’s becoming a painfully familiar refrain for this roadtrip, Carolina’s first seven batters reached base: five doubles, a walk, and a three-run home run. Kyle Winters finally got outs from the #8 and #9 batters, but both grounders produced runs.
To his credit, the 25-year-old veteran did settle down and retired nine of ten before giving up a leadoff double in the 4th, which came around to score on a two-out single. Another leadoff double (the 7th allowed), a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly scored the 9th Mudcat run.
Potomac would get on the board in the top of the 3rd as Blake Kelso directed a grounder past the second baseman into right, took second on a wild pitch, third on a deep fly to right, and trot in on Ricky Hague’s RBI single to left. Kelso and Blake would both single twice on the night.
Despite the surname, it was not for Carolina’s Michael Goodnight. He would be unable to pitch the requisite five innings as Justin Bloxom lined one off his ribcage following Michael Taylor’s one-out single (at-bat in pic above) in the 4th. He would get the painful assist and leave the ballgame.
With both teams going to the bullpen in the middle innings, it was a good night for relief pitching. The Mudcats’ Jordan Cooper and Dale Dickerson both struck out four over the next four and a 1/3rd innings while P-Nats’ southpaw Ryan Demmin fanned three. Demmin was touching 96 on the stadium gun, sporting a nice mix of heat and breaking pitches.
Potomac would score its second run in the 5th on an error, walk, a wild pitch, and a single off the actual first base by Zach Walters. Despite getting a runner on in eight of nine innings, the P-Nats would strand 10 on the night.
The series continues tonight with LHP Matt Grace (2-3, 5.84), coming off a win last Sunday, taking the hill against Carolina’s Brett Brach (0-1, 5.23).