ZEBULON, N.C. - Brice Turang scored the game winner in the ninth on a walk-off single from Mario Feliciano as Carolina earned a series tying 5-4 victory against the Blue Rocks on Sunday afternoon at Five County Stadium. Turang went 3-for-5 with a triple and Eddie Silva went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, a triple and two runs in the game for Carolina.
The Mudcats (15-16, 54-46) were originally down 1-0 after Wilmington (16-14, 60-39) scored a run in the first, but came back with the tying run in the second before getting three in the third to take a 4-1 lead in the game. The Blue Rocks, however, rallied back with two runs in the fifth to cut the lead to 4-3 before later tying the game in the ninth on a home run by Nick Pratto. Feliciano went on to break that tie with his game winning hit in the ninth while giving Carolina's its eighth walk-off victory of the season.
Feliciano's walk-off hit in the ninth was his only hit of the game as he went 1-for-5 overall. The game winner was also his third walk-off hit of the season as he previously hit walk-off home runs on May 11 vs. Myrtle Beach and May 20 vs. Lynchburg.
Turang went 3-for-5 with the game winning run in the ninth, a triple in the fourth and a leadoff single against Wilmington's starter Jonathan Bowlan in the first. Bowlan had previously no-hit the Mudcats in his last start on July 15 in Wilmington.
Silva, like Turang, also had a three hit game as he went 3-for-4 with a triple in the second and a two-run home run in the third. He also singled in the eighth and finished the game a double shy of the cycle.
Carolina was down 1-0 in the game before turning Silva's triple in the second into a game tying run when Pat McInerney brought him in with a RBI single to left. McInerney went 1-for-4 in the game while notching a RBI single for the second straight game.
With the game tied at 1-1, Carolina's third began with Tristen Lutz reaching on a leadoff single to center and continued with a RBI double from Payton Henry. That run scoring hit put Carolina up 2-1 and accounted for Henry's 56th RBI of the season. Silva then followed two batters later by belting his eighth home run of the season. It was a two-run run shot to left that put Carolina up 4-1 in the game.
Bowlan allowed all four Carolina runs over the first three innings and did so while allowing six hits over the first the first third of the game. He would go on to stay in the game through the fifth and finished with four runs allowed on seven hits for the Blue Rocks. He also walked one and matched a career high with nine strikeouts.
Christian Taugner started for Carolina, and like Bowlan, worked through the fifth as well in his start. Taugner allowed a first inning run after giving up a run scoring hit to Dennicher Carrasco in the opening frame, but would go on to hold the Blue Rocks scoreless over the next three innings before allowing two more runs in the fifth. Those runs were brought in on run scoring hits from Kyle Kasser and Kyle Isbel in the fifth.
Taugner left the game with Carolina leading 4-3 though after working through five full frames with three runs allowed on six hits. He also walked two and struck out three.
Reliever Michael Petersen worked the next two frames for Carolina while holding the Blue Rocks scoreless and to just one hit. Petersen earned his eighth hold and struck out two while reaching 26 pitches (14 strikes).
Carolina, meanwhile, had also been held scoreless by Wilmington's first reliever of the game as Collin Snider worked three scoreless frames following Bowlan in Sunday's game. Snider scattered three hits and struck out one in his appearance.
Anthony Bender was called upon to work the final two frames for Carolina, but ended up allowing a game tying home run to Nick Pratto in the ninth. Bender (W, 2-0, 1.17) had previously pitched a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts, but ended up taking his first blown save after losing the late lead. He did, however, ended up with the victory and did so while pitching against his former team.
With the game tied 4-4, reliever Rito Lugo would come in for the ninth and ended up with the loss after seeing Turang score from second in the final frame on Feliciano's game winning hit. Lugo (L, 2-3, 3.18) originally started the Carolina ninth by retiring Wes Rogers on a lineout to right before then giving up a hit to Turang, walking Tristen Lutz and then allowing Feliciano's single to left.
The Mudcats evened the three game series at 1-1 with Sunday's victory and improved to 2-3 in their current home stand. The series and home stand will conclude on Monday night beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Five County Stadium. Monday's game is B.O.G.O. Monday, featuring a buy one box seat ticket, get one box seat ticket free promotion.
Individual game tickets, season ticket plans, group ticket packages and the latest mini plans are all available now by visiting the Five County Stadium front office, by calling (919) 269-CATS (2287) and by visiting carolinamudcats.com/tickets.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.