ZEBULON, N.C. - Pat McInerney and Devin Hairston hit back-to-back home runs in the second, Payton Henry hit a three-run home run during an eight Carolina run third as the Mudcats won their season high sixth straight game and clinched a three game sweep with a 13-2 victory versus Lynchburg on Tuesday afternoon at Five County Stadium.
The Mudcats (12-8, 51-38) totaled a season high 16 hits and matched a season with 13 runs in the sweep clinching victory. Carolina scored four of those runs in the second and then eight more on six hits in the third while going up 12-2 early in the game. Lynchburg (11-9, 43-44) scored once in the third and once more in the fourth, but Carolina led 13-2 after the fifth and never looked back.
McInerney got the scoring started in the second while connecting on a three-run home run off starter Juan Hillman. The home run was his sixth of the season and scored both Mario Feliciano and Rob Henry. McInerney also had a double in the third and had a RBI single in the fifth while going 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored.
Hairston followed McInerney's homer with a solo shot of his own in the second while lifting Carolina to a 4-0 lead. Hairston's home run was his first of the season and was his first of three hits in the game. Hairston also drove in two runs with a triple in Carolina's eight run third and singled in the fourth before leaving the game. Hairston went 3-for-3 with three RBI, two runs and finished the game a double shy of the cycle.
Henry's three-run blast in the third, meanwhile, stretched the Carolina lead to 7-1 and was his first of two run scoring at bats in the inning. He also walked with the bases loaded to force in a run in the third, but only after Hairston's two run triple, a RBI double from Wes Rogers and a sac fly from Tristen Lutz. Henry went 2-for-3 with a run, four RBI and his tenth home run of the season for the Mudcats. It was also his first game back after missing the last three games.
Hillman (L, 3-9, 4.17) allowed all but two of Carolina's runs in the third and ended up allowing 10 earned runs over two and 1/3 innings while taking the loss. Riley Echols (1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 1 SO0 followed Hillman in the third and ended up allowing two runs and an inherited runner in that frame. Lynchburg also used relievers Jonathan Teaney (1.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R , 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO), Yapson Gomez (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB) and outfielder Jodd Carter (1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO) in the game.
Matt Hardy, in a spot start for Carolina, worked into the fifth and allowed just the two Lynchburg runs over four plus frames. He also allowed seven hits and struck out four while reaching a season high 74 pitches (54 strikes) in the game.
Phil Bickford (W, 1-0, 8.38) followed Hardy in the fifth and ended up with the win after working through three scoreless frames with three strikeouts, one walk and two hits allowed. J.T. Hintzen then finished the game for Carolina and worked two scoreless frames with a strikeout and two hits allowed.
Carolina's 16 total hits in the game were spread throughout the Mudcats lineup with Ryan Aguilar going 2-for-3 with two runs, (Payton) Henry totaling three hits, Rob Henry going 2-for-5 with two runs, McInerney's three hits, Hairston's three hits and Wes Rogers going 2-for-5 with a run and a RBI. Lutz also went 1-for-3 and Feliciano went 1-for-2 with two runs and three walks.
With the victory, Carolina ended up finishing their home stand at a perfect 6-0 with a three game sweep versus Frederick to start the home stretch and their three game sweep versus Lynchburg. Carolina's current six game win streak is their longest of the 2019 season and club's longest since the 2017 team finished the year with seven straight victories.
Carolina's next game will be played in Frederick on Wednesday night with the first pitch scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Wednesday's game will be the first of six straight on the road for Carolina with three in Frederick and three in Wilmington.
The game will air live on the Mudcats Radio Network, The Big Dawg 98.5 FM and online at carolinamudcats.com via TuneIn Radio. The game will also stream live in full high-definition video on MiLB.tv via Minor League Baseball's subscription service.
# # #
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.