BUIES CREEK, N.C. - Cooper Hummel hit a three-run home run and Rob Henry went 2-for-3 with two doubles as the Mudcats took game one 9-4, but starter Brandon Bailey took a no-hitter into the sixth in game two as the Astros defeated Carolina 2-1 to finish with a split in Tuesday's doubleheader at Jim Perry Stadium in Buies Creek.
The Mudcats (30-34) fell out of the race for the first half title after losing and nearly being no-hit by Bailey in game two of Tuesday's twin-bill at Buies Creek. The Astros (35-29) remained alive in their pursuit of the first half title after salvaging game two following Carolina's power outburst in game one.
Hummel and Henry led the way for Carolina in game one as they combined to score four runs and drive in five while both going 2-for-3 at the plate. Hummel scored three times and drove in three while hitting a three-run home run in the fifth off reliever Jesus Balaguer. The home run was his third of the season, with all three counting for three-run blasts.
Henry started his game with doubles in his first two at-bats and drove in two with a two-run double in the second off starter Brett Adcock. His double came during a four run second that saw the Mudcats take a 4-1 lead in the game.
Adcock (3-3, 2.91) ended up allowing six runs (three earned) on five hits while pitching through four innings in game one. He also walked three and struck out three in the loss.
The Astros did score first in game one and did so after J.J. Matijevic started the Buies Creek first with a hit before later moving to third and then scoring on a two-out wild pitch lost by starter Marcos Diplan. Diplan (3-2, 3.52) also lost a wild pitch in the second to score Kristian Trompiz, but went on to earn win for Carolina.
Diplan pitched through the fifth of the seven-inning game and finished with four runs allowed on five hits. He also worked around four walks, two wild pitches and struck out one while earning the victory.
Trompiz's run in the second cut the Carolina lead down to 4-2, but the Mudcats later answered when Weston Wilson brought in a run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. They also scored a run on a wild pitch from Adcock and led 6-2 before Hummel's three-run blast in the fifth.
Diplan later allowed two Astros' runs in the fifth, but would then hand the game over to reliever Nattino Diplan who then went on to strikeout five over two scoreless innings.
The second game featured a much tighter contest as Bailey (2-6, 3.08) spun his way through five no-hit innings before allowing a lead-off single to Nick Roscetti in the sixth. Bailey also allowed a hit to Dallas Carroll in the sixth and later left the game with an injury while pitching to Tucker Neuhaus.
Reliever Ronel Blanco took over against Neuhaus and went to retire him on strikes for the inning's second out. Blanco (S, 3) then closed the frame with a strikeout of Wilson while leaving two inherited runners on base.
In all, Bailey struck out five, worked around three walks and allowed just two hits in game two. Blanco struck out three and allowed an unearned run in the seventh before leaving two men on in the final inning.
Roscetti went 1-for-3 in game two with Carolina's first hit and their only RBI as he had a sacrifice fly in the seventh against Blanco.
Conor Harber (1-3, 2.54) started game two for Carolina and ended up with the loss despite allowing just two runs on three hits over five and 1/3 innings pitched. He was later followed by reliever Daniel Brown who worked through 2/3 of an inning with one inherited runner allowed in to score.
Osvaldo Duarte went 1-for-3 with a RBI and Trompiz also drove in a run for the Astros in the game two, series tying victory.
The Mudcats and Astros will conclude their three game series with the rubber game scheduled for Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. at Jim Perry Stadium. RHP Devin Williams will start for Carolina in Wednesday's series finale.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.