WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Pinch-runner Joel Booker stole home with two-outs and with the bases loaded in the tenth inning as the Dash walked-off 3-2 against the Mudcats on Thursday night at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem.
Booker's game winning stolen base of home came after he was inserted into the game to start the tenth inning as a pinch runner for Gavin Sheets. The game was Carolina's first under the new pace-of-play rules implemented by Minor League Baseball before the season. Booker went to third on a one-out single from Yeyson Yrizzarri in the tenth and then scored from third on his straight steal of home following a walk by Ti'Quan Forbes and with Mitch Roman batting.
The steal came against reliever Daniel Brown who had entered the game in the tenth and final frame out of the Carolina (5-3) bullpen. Brown (0-2, 6.75) faced four batters in the tenth and gave up one hit, walked one and struck out one in the loss.
The Dash originally led 1-0 through the fifth before Ronnie Gideon gave the Mudcats the lead with a two-run opposite field home run in the sixth. Gideon finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. His homer scored Clint Coulter from second after Coulter had started the sixth with a double. Coulter went 2-for-5 with two doubles for the Mudcats.
Both sixth inning extra base hits came off Dash starter Bernardo Flores and came at the start of Flores' final inning of work. Flores went six innings for Winston-Salem and allowed two runs on nine hits while also walking two and striking out five. He was later followed by Danny Dopico who tossed two scoreless frames with three strikeouts. Mike Morrison (W, 2-0, 0.00) then pitched the ninth and tenth and struck out two against one walk while earning the win for the Dash.
Trey Supak started for Carolina and allowed just one run on five hits over five innings pitched. He gave up a double to Alex Call and a run scoring single to Gavin Sheets in the third while seeing the Dash take a 1-0 lead. Supak also walked two and struck out three in his start.
It remained a 1-0 Dash lead until Gideon's home run in the sixth, but Forbes and Yrizarri later teamed up to score a Dash run to tie the game in the eighth. With reliever Conor Harber in the game, Yrizarri reached on an infield single to third and then scored on a double through the right-center from Forbes.
The Dash run in the eighth locked the game up at 2-2 through the ninth and up until Booker's steal of home plate.
Harber pitched through three innings and allowed just the one run on four hits while also striking out three and walking four. NC State product Cody Beckman later worked a scoreless eighth.
Keston Hiura, after missing the previous three games, went 3-for-5 with two singles and a triple. Leadoff man Dallas Carroll also had a multi-hit game after going 2-for-4.
The Mudcats totaled 11 hits in Thursday's series opener, but managed just two total runs. They wound up leaving nine men on base and went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
The series will continue on Friday night at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Left-hander Nathan Kirby (0-0, 3.86) will get the start for the Mudcats in game two of the three game series. The game will air on the Mudcats Radio Network, The Big Dawg 98.5 FM and online at carolinamudcats.com via TuneIn Radio. It will also stream via live video on MiLB.tv.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.