ZEBULON, N.C. - The Blue Rocks played spoiler on Saturday as they won both games of a doubleheader versus the Mudcats and "Micro Brews" at Five County Stadium. The Mudcats fell in game one 3-2 and were shutout 6-0 in game two while playing as the Carolina Micro Brews for the first time in franchise history.
The Mudcats (6-4) had won four straight games before dropping both games of Saturday's doubleheader. Wilmington (7-3) took a 2-1 series lead in the four game set with the twin-bill sweep and did so with a one-run edging of the Mudcats in game one and a near no-hitter against the Micro Brews in game two.
Carolina scored first in game one, but fell behind in the third after Wilmington rallied for two runs against starter Noah Zavolas to take a 2-1 lead. The two teams later traded runs in the fifth, but the Blue Rocks went on to hold on for a 3-2 game one victory to begin Saturday's doubleheader.
The one run Carolina first included a two-out, run scoring hit from Payton Henry that scored Joantgel Segovia from second. Segovia led off the first with a single off Blue Rocks starter Jackson Kowar and went 1-for-2 with a walk, a hit-by-pitch and a run for Carolina in the loss.
Zavolas (1-1, 2.70) later saw the one-run Carolina lead slip away in the third after he allowed a one-out, two-run triple to Wilmington leadoff man Kyle Isbel. The triple scored both Cristian Perez and Ricky Aracena who had singled and doubled respectively off Zavolas.
The Blue Rocks took a 3-1 lead in the fifth after Aracena bunted his way on and scored on a one-out run scoring hit from Blake Perkins in the fifth. Zavolas allowed all three runs between the first and fifth and took the loss in his second start with the Mudcats. He finished with three runs (two earned) allowed on seven hits over five innings. He also walked two and struck out six.
Trailing 3-1, Carolina eventually answered back with a run in the fifth to get within one when Ryan Aguilar scored on a sacrifice fly from Mario Feliciano. That run, however, would be all for the Carolina offense last in game one as the Blue Rocks pitchers kept the Mudcats in check.
Kowar started worked through four and 1/3 innings with two runs (one earned) allowed on six hits over four and 1/3 innings. He also walked one and struck out six for Wilmington. Reliever Daniel Duarte pitched part of the fifth and sixth and worked through one scoreless frame overall. Tad Ratliff (S, 3) followed and held Carolina scoreless while earning the save.
In game two, The Blue Rocks then went on to blank the Mudcats (playing as the Micro Brews for the first time) behind a stellar pitching effort from starter Daniel Tillo who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning.
Tillo (2-0, 1.38) lost the no-hit bid in the seventh, but went the distance and ended up tossing a two-hit, complete game, shutout on Saturday. He also walked two, struck out six and induced 13 groundouts against two flyouts while pitching the Blue Rocks to the twin-bill sweep.
Payton Henry broke up Tillo's no-hitter in the seventh after reaching on a single to left. His hit took a bad hop on Wilmington third-baseman Angelo Castellano and bounced into left. Zach Clark later followed with an infield hit to third, giving the Micro Brews two hits in the game with both coming in the final inning.
Carolina did have several chances to score in game two, but ended up stranding four men on and wasted an opportunity with the bases loaded in the sixth after grounding into a double play to end the inning. In the end, they went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position in game two of Saturday's twin-bill while dropping their second straight game.
UP NEXT: The Mudcats trail in their series with Wilmington two games to one and will look to finish with a series split in the finale of the four game set scheduled for Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Five County Stadium. RHP Christian Taugner (1-0, 1.50) is scheduled to start for the Mudcats in Sunday's series finale in Zebulon. The game will air live on the Mudcats Radio Network, the Big Dawg 98.5 FM and online at carolinamudcats.com and TuneIn Radio. It will also stream live in full HD video on MiLB.tv. Tickets are available by calling (919) 269-CATS (2287), by visiting carolinamudcats.com and by visiting the Five County Stadium Box Office.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.