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Monday, August 26, 2013

Mudcats lose in extras, move to brink of elimination

Posted by on Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 11:56 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Talk about a must-win situation.

The Carolina Mudcats are facing one in their final regular-season home game, which will be their final home game of the season if they don’t work a miracle.

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The Mudcats are in third place in the Carolina League’s Southern Division, five games behind the first-place Salem Red Sox who visit tonight for the finale of their three-game series. Both teams have eight games left in the season.

Salem has won the first two, but more importantly eight of its last 10 games while the Mudcats are 3-7 over the same span. So if Carolina wants to go from the worst team in baseball in the first half to a spot in the Mills Cup Playoffs, the Mudcats have got to get cracking. Now.

Shawn Morimando (8-12, 3.41) will take on the Red Sox’ Mike Augliera (8-6, 4.40) in a battle of lefties.

Tonight Salem puts what is likely the penultimate nail in the coffin, winning 6-4 in 12 innings.

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    Joey Wendle and Tony Wolters win coveted team awards.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mudcats win again, stay in position for playoff spot

Posted by on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 11:20 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats are right in the race for a playoff spot as the season goes into its stretch run.

In fact, if the season started today Carolina — which was the losingest team in Organized Baseball in the first half — would have a Mills Cup Playoff spot.

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But as long as they stay in second-place behind the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, there’s a problem. They would have to play the entire Southern Division series on the road.

Heading into the three-game series that starts tonight on a warm evening, the Pelicans have a 2 1/2-game pad over the second-place Mudcats with Salem four out.

The Mudcats have had a pair of key callups to Akron, as center fielder Tyler Naquin and pitcher Cody Anderson are now in the Eastern League. Tonight’s starting pitcher Cole Cook is down from Akron, while center fielder Logan Vick will make his Carolina League debut following his callup from Lake County in the Midwest League.

Southpaw Luis Parra (0-0, 3.00) will go for the Pelicans.

This is an easy one for Carolina, as three pitchers combine for the 7-0 shutout.

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    Three pitchers combine for shutout in 7-0 rout of first-place Myrtle Beach.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Mudcats take advantage of Nats' iron gloves to win series opener

Posted by on Mon, Aug 5, 2013 at 11:19 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Even with a two-game losing streak and coming off a wrong-way shutout, the Carolina Mudcats are in first place in the Carolina League’s Southern Division with less than a month left in the season.

That’s a far cry, of course, from their worst record in baseball in the first half of the campaign.

File photo
  • File photo

Tonight’s opponent is another playoff contender, the Potomac Nationals who lead the Northern Division by six games and have the best record in the league.

Southpaw Shawn Morimando (7-10, 3.07) goes for the Mudcats against Paul Demny (0-0, 3.86) on a pleasantly warm evening.

Despite striking out 19 times, the Mudcats take advantage of three key Potomac errors to pick up an unlikely 5-3 win.

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    Mudcats beat league's best team to hold division lead

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Once sad-sack Mudcats closing in on Southern Division lead

Posted by on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 11:54 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The second half of the season sure hasn’t been like the first half was for the Carolina Mudcats.

David Wallace’s team went 22-48 over the first half of the season, finishing last in the Carolina League with one of the worst records in baseball.

But in the second half, the Mudcats have been contenders.

Carolina is currently solidly in second place — and in a presumptive playoff spot — in the CL’s Southern Division with a 21-16 mark. Tonight they’ll open a three-game series with the Frederick Keys, with Nick Pasquale (3-6, 4.31) taking on Frederick southpaw Trent Howard (3-0, 1.78).

Tonight the Mudcats put up crooked numbers in the sixth and seventh innings, rolling to a 9-5 win and moving to within a half game of first-place Myrtle Beach.

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    Carolina now trails Myrtle Beach by a slight half-game

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Morimando starts shutout as Mudcats get back to .500

Posted by on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Shawn Morimando threw fve shutout innings in his second straight start.
FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats are playing much better in the second half than they did in the first, when they were the worst team in the Carolina League.

Going into tonight’s hot game against in-state rival Winston-Salem the Mudcats are just one game below .500 in the second half, in third place in the Southern Division with a half-game lead over the Dash. The last time the Muddies were at .500 in a half was on April 15.

Carolina is coming off a thriller from Thursday night, a 5-2 win on Bryson Myles’ walk-off homer in the 14th.
Southpaw Shawn Morimando (5-9, 3.03) will take on the Dash’s Bryan Blough (8-6, 4.47).

The Mudcats get the job done, recording their sixth shutout of the season and third of the half in a 4-0 victory.

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    Hot win gives Muddies best win percentage since April.

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Friday, July 5, 2013

Pasquale, Mudcats roll it up before fireworks in front of big crowd

Posted by on Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 10:57 PM

FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats conclude their three-game Independence Day celebration on a hot night, looking to even their current series.

Nick Pasquale pitched his best game of the season in Fridays win.

Carolina carries a 4-9 second-half record into Game 2 of their four-game set against the Salem Red Sox, and will feature a post-game fireworks display for the third straight evening.

Nick Pasquale (0-5, 5.14) will try to get out of the doldrums against Salem southpaw Henry Owens (6-3, 2.91).

Tonight Carolina plays probably its best game since April, rolling in a 9-0 rout.

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    Pasquale starts combined shutout, gets first win as Muddies roll

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Late-inning fireworks spark Mudcats' win over Hillcats

Posted by on Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 11:50 PM

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FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The good news for the Carolina Mudcats is that it’s early yet — at least in the second half.

After a Tuesday night rainout, the Mudcats (3-8 in the half) will take on the Lynchburg Hillcats in the finale of their scheduled three-game series. (Tuesday’s contest will be made up on Aug. 21).

It’s the first of three straight home games that will be followed by fireworks to celebrate Independence Day.

Michael Peoples (0-4, 5.87) will go for the Mudcats tonight against Jarrett Miller (5-5, 4.08) after a 31-minute rain delay.

The Mudcats recover from losing a three-run lead and win it in the eighth inning, prevailing 5-4 in a rare win over the Lynchburgers.

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    Wolters, Lindor come up with clutch hits to lead one-run victory.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bullpen runs up a line of zeroes as Mudcats win in a shutout

Posted by on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 10:56 PM

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FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON Class A Baseball is all about second chances, and the Carolina Mudcats are getting theirs.

The Mudcats finished last in the Carolina League’s Southern Division in the first half. But with all four of their mid-season all-stars — center fielder Tyler Naquin, shortstop Francisco Lindor, first baseman Jerrud Sabourin and pitching ace Cody Anderson — returning they’re aiming for a playoff spot with a second-half comeback.

Frederick’s leadoff man is Johnny Ruettiger, whose uncle was immortalized on film in the movie “Rudy.” Former Mudcat Delvi Cid is a Keys outfielder.

Carolina picked up a 3-2 victory over the Frederick Keys in its second-half home debut on Monday. Francisco Jimenez (1-1, 3.20) will make a spot start, taking on the Keys’ Eduardo Rodriguez (6-3, 2.99) in a battle of lefties in tonight’s Game 2 of the four-game series.

And this time they make it look a little easier, as four pitchers combine for the shutout in a 5-0 victory.

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    Jimenez is solid in a spot start as Carolina wins its second straight over Frederick

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Bulls rally falls short, lose to Indians in extras

Posted by on Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 3:15 PM

After rallying from a four-run deficit, the Durham Bulls were not able to surpass the Indianapolis Indians, falling 6-4 Friday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

In front of an almost sold out crowd of 9.565, fans were into the game early and often. The wave was first spotted in the third inning. There wasn't a section of the ballpark without fans—even the grass section in center field.

Right-handed starter Merrill Kelly, who was recently called up from Double-A Montgomery, struck out 10 batters through 5.1 innings in his debut Triple-A start.

"I didn't know what to expect from him," Bulls Manager Charlie Montoyo said. "He pitched really well and I'm happy to see that."

Durham fell behind quickly 4-0 by the sixth inning but had chances to score, with runners reaching base in almost every inning. In both the fourth and fifth inning, the Bulls had two men aboard and were unable to score.

However, the Bulls did answer in the sixth and seventh inning.

Leslie Anderson and Wil Myers recorded back-to-back singles in the sixth and were eventually sent home to score after Cole Figueroa singled to shallow center field.

In the seventh, Vince Belnome belted a RBI triple into the corner of right field, scoring Tim Beckham, and cutting the lead to 4-3. Belnome was eventually crossed home plate after a passed ball, tying the game up at 4-4.

Once again the Bulls had an opportunity to score runs, and take the lead, in the eighth inning but fell short with runners on the corners. The Bulls went 1-for-9 with runner in scoring position, leaving 12 runners on base.

"It seemed like in the bottom of the ninth we had the right guys coming up," Montoyo said. "There's always a chance for a walk-off but it didn't happen."

Indianapolis broke through in the 10th frame after Brett Carroll belted a home run over the Blue Monster from reliever Steve Geltz. Jerry Sands later went deep to right field, sealing the win for the Indians, 6-4.
The Bulls will take on the Indians Saturday night in game two of a four-game series at the DBAP starting at 7:05.

Box score is here: http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2013_06_14_indaaa_dubaaa_1&t=g_box&sid=t234

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    "There's always a chance for a walk-off but it didn't happen." — Bulls Manager Charlie Montoyo

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Mudcats' first-half woes get worse with extra-inning defeat

Posted by on Sat, Jun 8, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Shawn Morimando fires a strike early in Saturdays game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
  • Photo by Chris Baird
  • Shawn Morimando fires a strike early in Saturday's game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats have been eliminated from the Carolina League’s first-half race for about a week, so now they’re trying to get momentum for a better second half.

Tonight David Wallace’s club will play the second of a three-game set with its nemesis Myrtle Beach Pelicans, who come in percentage points ahead of the Winston-Salem Dash atop the Southern Division and have won all but one meeting in the series.

There is some drama tonight as Shawn Morimando (4-5, 2.79) looks to continue his 20-inning scoreless streak. The Mudcats’ southpaw is the CL’s most recent pitcher of the week.

Of interest on the Pelicans’ roster is second baseman Rougned Odor, whose uncle Rouglas is the Mudcats’ hitting coach.
Morimando gets a quality outing but can’t get the win because his team doesn’t, falling 8-4 in 10 innings.http://

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    Morimando's scoreless streak ends before Carolina falls in extra innings.

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