Lynchburg, Va. - The Carolina Mudcats split a doubleheader with the Lynchburg Hillcats on Thursday night at Calvin Falwell Field, but were eliminated from the postseason with Salem's triumph over the Frederick Keys. The Mudcats (33-33, 55-81) won the early game 7-4 before falling to the Hillcats (33-33, 69-66) in the nightcap, 3-2 in 12 innings.
Position player Matt Weaver (1-0) took home the win for the Hillcats in game two. He struck out one batter in his only inning.
Game two ended in controversy. With two on and one out, Wilson Rivera, a pitcher used a right fielder, sent a grounder towards first. Jerrud Sabourin made a play on the ball and forced out the runner going to second. The relay from shortstop Erik Gonzalez back to J.D. Reichenbach (4-5) was ruled not in time as Matt Lipka raced around third to score the winning run. The Mudcats vehemently argued the runner was out at first to no avail.
Reichenbach was left with the loss after allowing a run on one hit with two strikeouts.
Bryson Myles homered on the first pitch of the game, his eighth of the year. With the score tied 1-1, Jordan Smith tripled following a single by Myles in the fifth for a 2-1 lead.
Both of Lynchburg's runs in regulation came off solo home runs by Weaver and Josh Elander.
The Mudcats got multi-hit performances from three players in a 7-4 win in the early game. Myles, Smith and Tony Wolters recorded two hits each. Smith finished with a double and two RBI.
Francisco Valera (3-5) picked up the win with two scoreless frames. He allowed one hit. Benny Suarez earned his first save with a scoreless seventh inning.
Jose Lugo (0-2) was the pitcher on the wrong end of the decision for Lynchburg. The lefty allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits over five innings.
Carolina jumped out to a 5-0 lead through three ½ innings before the Hillcats rallied with a four-run fourth. Elmer Reyes cracked a three-run homer with two out. Emerson Landoni and Shawn McGill followed with back-to-back doubles that cut it to one.
The Mudcats were able to escape and scored twice in the top of the seventh to pull away for the win.
Carolina finishes their season series with the Hillcats on Friday night at 6:05 p.m. inside Lynchburg City Stadium. Carolina opens the 2014 season with a home game against Potomac Nationals on Thursday, April 14, 2014.