Lane Adams' first at-bat as a Blue Rock saw him launch a two-out, two-run homer during a five-run opening inning in game one. Starter Jason Adam, who entered the game receiving just 2.5 runs of support per start, gladly welcomed the crooked number. However, while his offense helped him out, his defense let him down. Two crucial errors, one by Orlando Calixte at shortstop and the other by Cheslor Cuthbert at third base, both came in a five-run fourth that tied the game. None of the runs were earned.
An inning later, Carlos Moncrief doubled in a go-ahead run to put the Rocks down, 6-5. The Blue Crew's new-look offense, though, would not go quietly. With the bases clear and two outs, the newest Blue Rock, Matt Fields, reached on a fielding error by third baseman Giovanny Urshela. Three straight hits followed, including run-scoring blows by Jose Bonilla and Kevin David as the Rocks claimed an 8-6 lead.
The running theme of the evening, a Mudcat comeback, would soon follow. Jake Lowery worked a bases-loaded walk from closer Nick Rogers (1-2) to tie the game. Anthony Gallas followed with a grounder to third that went between Cuthbert's legs for a two-run error and a walk-off Wilmington defeat.
In the nightcap, home runs by Cuthbert and Adams staked starter Tyler Sample (1-8) to a 3-0 lead. Then came the second inning. Five runs crossed on five hits, including a two-run homer by Ronny Rodriguez, and the Blue Rocks would not know another lead on the night. Brett Eibner forged a brief tie with his team-leading ninth home run in the third, but Urshela scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch by Sample to snap the 5-5 deadlock.
Carolina reliever J.D. Reichenbach (3-1) got the win while Grant Sides secured the save in his Advanced-A debut.
The Blue Rocks' seven-game road trip shifts four hours north to Pfitzner Stadium on Sunday. Wilmington right-hander Chase Boruff (1-3, 4.82) is scheduled to make his second career start while Potomac figures to counter with Nathan Karns (1-2, 4.15) in the first of a four-game set. Broadcast coverage begins at 3:35 p.m. as studio host Rob Cunningham brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
The Blue Rocks have played three doubleheaders this season. All three have been sweeps with a pair of wins versus Frederick on June 2 and a couple of losses to Salem on June 13.
Wilmington had not blown a lead larger than three before falling from ahead by five in the opener.
The Blue Crew has lost six in a row and 14 of 15. It has also dropped nine straight on the road. It is the team's longest road losing streak since at least 2004. The franchise record is 11, set by the 1999 team from July 1-18.
Wilmington is now a season-worst 15 games below .500. It has not been this many games below sea level since it ended the 2005 season at 60-80.
With their road schedule against Carolina complete, the Blue Rocks went 2-8 in their first season playing games at Five County Stadium.
Starting Sunday, Wilmington will see only divisional opponents over its next 13 games and 17 of its next 20. The Rocks are 17-34 against Southern Division squads and 12-10 against their brothers in the North.
Manager Vance Wilson was ejected in the first inning of game two by home plate umpire Aaron Larsen. It is his fifth ejection of the season.