Four Late HRs & Suicide Squeeze Doom Mudcats

The Mudcats lost a 5-0 lead in the eighth while losing their third straight game

By Carolina Mudcats | April 14, 2018 11:20 PM

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Carlos Belonis hit two home runs, Tucker Neuhaus had three doubles and Cam Roegner struck out six over seven scoreless innings, but the Dash hit four home runs in the eighth to the tie the game before defeating the Mudcats 6-5 in the tenth with a walk-off, suicide squeeze bunt on Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem.

The Mudcats (5-5) had a 5-0 lead heading into the eighth, but the Dash (7-3) went on to rally for five runs on six hits, including home runs from Joel Booker, Luis Basabe, Micker Adolfo and Yermin Mercedes to tie the game at 5-5. Booker, Basabe and Adolfo each homered against reliever Miguel Sanchez, while Mercedes' game tying blast came off reliever Cody Beckman.

Booker then struck again in the tenth and final inning after dropping a squeeze bunt to the mound that scored Yeyson Yrizarri from third to give the Dash their second extra innings victory in the series. The Dash won on a walk-off steal of home in the series opener on Thursday and took game three of the series on a walk-off squeeze bunt on Saturday.

Chase Williams took the loss for the Mudcats despite working his club out of the eighth and pitching a scoreless ninth. Williams (1-1, 0.00) pitched through an inning and 2/3 with three walks, one strikeout, one hit and one unearned run allowed in the loss.

The tenth started with Yrizarri at second and then continued with a walk of Zach Remillard. Mitch Roman then dropped a sacrifice bunt down to move Yrizarri to third and Remillard to second ahead of Booker's at-bat. With Yrizarri breaking toward home, Booker then bunted a pitch from Williams sharply back to the mound to squeeze in Yrizarri as the game winning run.

Booker went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI in the game for the Dash. Blake Rutherford was 2-for-5 with a double, Basabe was 2-for-4 with a two-run home run, Adolfo was 1-for-4 with a homer and Mercedes was 2-for-5 with a home run as well.

Sanchez allowed three of the four Dash home runs in the five run eighth. He was the first reliever into the game following Roegner's seven-inning gem. In all, Sanchez allowed four runs and four hits, including three home runs, while retiring just one batter. Beckman then suffered a blown save after giving up a home run and two hits while recording just one out as well.

Roegner was brilliant once again in his outing and finished the night with six strikeouts over seven scoreless frames. He scattered four hits, walked two and used 86 pitches (56 strikes) to work through a 76 game score. 

Belonis gave Roegner an early lead to work with after hitting a three-run home run in the second off Dash starter Ricardo Pinto. The home run was the first of two in the game for Belonis, with both homers coming against Pinto. Belonis matched career highs for home runs and RBI in a game after going 2-for-5 with two home runs and four RBI for the Mudcats. 

The Mudcats led 4-0 after the fourth thanks to Belonis and his two home runs. Their fifth and final run came later in the seventh after Neuhaus doubled in a run off reliever Luis Martinez. Neuhaus had three doubles in the game while going 3-for-5.

The lone seventh inning run for the Mudcats was all that Martinez allowed over his four inning relief effort. Martinez totaled six strikeouts and walked three in four innings while following Pinto's start. Pinto allowed four runs on five hits, walked two and struck out three over four innings. Reliever Kyle Kubat (1-0, 1.50) later pitched the ninth and tenth and struck out four while managing to hold the Mudcats scoreless and earning the win.

The Mudcats left 11 men on base in the loss and were just 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The Dash ended up stranding 13 and were just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, but still edged out the victory while rattling off their sixth straight victory. The loss was Carolina's third straight and dropped them to 5-5 on the year. 

The series will conclude on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. in Winston-Salem. The Dash lead the series three game to none and will look to starter RHP Jimmy Lambert (1-0, 0.00) as they try for the series sweep. Carolina will have RHP Braden Webb (0-1, 10.80) on the mound for Sunday's series finale. 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.

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