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Carolina Rallies for Series Tying 8-6 Victory

Ethan Murray hit his first career homer and made a game-winning catch in the ninth in Carolina’s series tying victory
September 9, 2021

Down East 6 @ Carolina 8 September 08, 2021 | Venue : Five County Stadium | First pitch : 7:03 PM | T : 3:18 DE: 1 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 6 9 0 CAR: 2 1 2 0 1 0 0 2 x 8 14

Down East 6 @ Carolina 8

September 08, 2021 | Venue : Five County Stadium | First pitch : 7:03 PM | T : 3:18

DE: 1 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 6 9 0

CAR: 2 1 2 0 1 0 0 2 x 8 14 1

WP: Robbie Baker (2 - 0) LP: Connor Sechler (3 - 2) SV: James Meeker (5)

LISTEN: Post-Game Interview with Manager Joe Ayrault

ZEBULON – Alex Binelas went 4-for-5 with a home run and a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth, Eduardo Garcia went 3-for-4 with two RBI, Ethan Murray hit his first career home run and James Meeker earned his fifth save as the Mudcats defeated the Down East Wood Ducks 8-6 on Wednesday night at Five County Stadium.

Binelas used his fourth hit of the game to break what was a 6-6 tie in the eighth to put the Mudcats (64-46) up one last time at 7-6. Bello immediately followed with a RBI single of his own as Carolina scored twice in the eighth to go up 8-6. The Wood Ducks (65-45) then went on to load the bases in the ninth, but Meeker (S, 5) would go on to escape the jam by getting Cody Freeman on a lineout to second. That lineout was caught on a diving play made by Murray near second base.

Carolina’s victory tied the series at a game apiece with Down East taking the opener and Carolina winning game two. With the win, the Mudcats also moved to 1.0 game back of the first-place Wood Ducks in the Central Division standings and 3.0 games back of Salem in the race for the second playoff spot in the Low-A East overall standings.

The Wood Ducks scored the game’s first run, but Darrien Miller answered in the last of the first with a two-out, two-run double to put Carolina up 2-1. Murray then extended the lead to 3-1 with his first career homer, but Down East came back with three in the third (with two runs on a home run from Freeman) to go up 4-3. The game then saw yet another lead change as Carolina scored twice in the third on a home run from Binelas and a go-ahead RBI single by Garcia. The Mudcats then went up 6-4 on a run-scoring double from Garcia, but the Wood Ducks later tied the game with a two-run RBI double from Cristian Inoa in the seventh. Down East nearly scored again in the seventh when Inoa attempted to score from second on a single to right from Freeman. Bello fielded Freeman’s hit and went on to throw out Inoa at the plate to end the inning. Bello’s outfield assist was Carolina’s league best 35th of the season.

Jeferson Figueroa started for Carolina and worked through a career-high five innings while totaling a career-high seven strikeouts. He also allowed four runs on four hits, including one home run before leaving with Carolina leading 6-4 after five. Robbie Baker then followed out of the pen and tossed a scoreless sixth before allowing two runs in the seventh. Baker (2-0, 3.44) later returned for the eighth and pitched through three innings overall with just two runs allowed on three hits. He also walked one and struck out three. Meeker then worked the ninth and held the Wood Ducks scoreless while leaving three men on and striking out one.

Connor Sechler took the loss for Down East after allowed two runs scoring hits and two runs in the eighth. He also walked the first two batters he faced to start the eighth before allowing back-to-back RBI single to Binelas and Bello.

HOME RUNS:

Down East HR : Freeman (6, 3rd inning off Figueroa, 1 on, 2 out).

Carolina HR : Murray (1, 2nd inning off Stephan, 0 on, 2 out); Binelas (4, 3rd inning off Stephan, 0 on, 0 out).

TOP PERFORMERS - BATTERS:

Binelas, 3B (Carolina): 4-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI

Garcia, E, SS (Carolina): 3-for-4, 0 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 2 RBI

Murray, 2B (Carolina): 1-for-4, 1 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Bello, RF (Carolina): 3-for-5, 2 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI

Perez, CF (Carolina): 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI

Zavala, DH (Down East): 2-for-4, 2 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI

Inoa, 1B (Down East): 2-for-4, 0 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBI

Freeman, 3B (Down East): 2-for-5, 1 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI

TOP PERFORMERS - PITCHERS:

Figueroa (Carolina): 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO

Baker (W, 2-0)(BS, 2) (Carolina): 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO

Meeker (S, 5) (Carolina): 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO

Lockhart (Down East): 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO

Tejada (Down East): 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO

Sechler (L, 3-2) (Down East): 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO

SCORING:

Wood Ducks 1st (Wood Ducks 1, Mudcats 0) -- Jayce Easley grounds out to Ernesto Martinez. Aaron Zavala walks. Aaron Zavala steals 2nd base. Luisangel Acuna reaches on fielding error by Eduardo Garcia, Aaron Zavala to 3rd. Cristian Inoa singles to center field, Aaron Zavala scores; Luisangel Acuna to 3rd; Cristian Inoa to 2nd. Cody Freeman struck out looking. Keyber Rodriguez lines out to Eduardo Garcia.

(1 Runs, 1 Hits, 1 Errors, 2 LOB)

Mudcats 1st (Mudcats 2, Wood Ducks 1) -- Noah Campbell strikes out swinging. Tyler Black walks. Alex Binelas strikes out swinging. Micah Bello singles to shallow center field, Tyler Black to 3rd. Darrien Miller doubles to right-center field, Tyler Black scores; Micah Bello scores. Wild pitch by Josh Stephan, Darrien Miller to 3rd. Ernesto Martinez struck out looking.

(2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB)

Mudcats 2nd (Mudcats 3, Wood Ducks 1) -- Hedbert Perez lines out to Angel Aponte. Eduardo Garcia flies out to Angel Aponte. Ethan Murray hits a home run to right field on a 2-1 pitch. Noah Campbell walks. Tyler Black flies out to Jayce Easley.

(1 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB)

Wood Ducks 3rd (Wood Ducks 4, Mudcats 3) -- Jayce Easley singles to left-center field. Jayce Easley steals 2nd base. Aaron Zavala singles to right field, Jayce Easley to 3rd; Aaron Zavala to 2nd. Luisangel Acuna out on a sacrifice fly to Micah Bello, Jayce Easley scores; Aaron Zavala to 3rd. Cristian Inoa pops out to Alex Binelas in foul territory. Cody Freeman hits a home run to left field on a 1-0 pitch, Aaron Zavala scores. Keyber Rodriguez struck out looking.

(3 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB)

Mudcats 3rd (Mudcats 5, Wood Ducks 4) -- Alex Binelas hits a home run to right-center field on a 1-0 pitch. Micah Bello singles to left-center field. Darrien Miller flies out to Daniel Mateo. Andre Nnebe singles to center field, Micah Bello to 2nd. Hedbert Perez strikes out swinging. Eduardo Garcia singles to center field, Micah Bello scores; Andre Nnebe to 2nd. Ethan Murray struck out looking.

(2 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 LOB)

Mudcats 5th (Mudcats 6, Wood Ducks 4) -- Darrien Miller grounds out to Cristian Inoa. Andre Nnebe strikes out on foul tip. Hedbert Perez doubles to left field. Eduardo Garcia doubles through the hole at shortstop, Hedbert Perez scores. Ethan Murray grounds out, Cody Freeman to Cristian Inoa.

(1 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB)

Wood Ducks 7th (Wood Ducks 6, Mudcats 6) -- Daniel Mateo flies out to Andre Nnebe. Alejandro Osuna walks. Aaron Zavala grounds out, Ethan Murray to Noah Campbell, Alejandro Osuna to 2nd. Luisangel Acuna singles to shallow left field, Alejandro Osuna to 3rd. Cristian Inoa doubles to left-center field, Alejandro Osuna scores; Luisangel Acuna scores. Cody Freeman singles to right field, Cristian Inoa out at home on the throw, Micah Bello to Darrien Miller.

(2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB)

Mudcats 8th (Mudcats 8, Wood Ducks 6) -- Pitcher Change: Connor Sechler replaces Leury Tejada. Noah Campbell walks. Wild pitch by Connor Sechler, Noah Campbell to 2nd. Tyler Black walks. Alex Binelas singles through the hole at second base, Noah Campbell scores; Tyler Black to 3rd. Micah Bello singles up the middle, Tyler Black scores; Alex Binelas to 2nd. Darrien Miller grounds into a force out, Cristian Inoa to Keyber Rodriguez, Alex Binelas to 3rd; Micah Bello out at 2nd. Andre Nnebe strikes out swinging. Hedbert Perez flies out to Angel Aponte.

(2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 LOB)