LISTEN: Manager Joe Ayrault Post-Game Interview
ZEBULON – After falling 12-4 in the first game, the Mudcats bounced back with a 9-1 win in game two while finishing with a doubleheader split with the visiting Wood Ducks on Wednesday night at Five County Stadium. Felix Valerio hit a grand slam and starter Joey Matulovich and reliever Kent Hasler pitched the Mudcats to the convincing game two victory.
The Mudcats (41-27) remained three games ahead of the Wood Ducks (38-30) in the Low-A East Central division standings following the twin-bill split. They also moved to 1.5 games ahead of the Delmarva Shorebirds for the league’s second best overall record.
The Wood Ducks began game one with a four run first, before scoring six runs in the second while running away early and eventually winning 12-4. Their four-run opening frame included two, two-run home runs with one from Dustin Harris and the other off the bat of Thomas Saggese. The six-run second featured five hits overall, including a run-scoring hit from Keyber Rodriguez, a three-run double from Alejandro Osuna a Randy Florentino RBI double. Harris later homered again in the third and finished Game One going 3-for-5 with three runs, two home runs and three RBI. Saggese went 1-for-2 with two runs, a home run and two RBI. Osuna went 3-for-4 with four RBI, two doubles and a run scored.
Carolina’s Miguel Guerrero took the game one loss after allowing nine of the 10 runs scored by the Wood Ducks over the first and second innings. Guerrero (4-2, 6.10) also allowed eight hits, walked two, struck out two and gave up two homers in the loss.
Peyton Long followed Guerrero out of the pen and ended up working through four innings with just two earned runs allowed on five hits. Long also struck out six and walked one while pitching through his longest out of the season. Brock Begue then finished the first game by working through and inning and a 1/3 scoreless with one hit allowed. Destin Dotson (1-0, 3.00) earned the win for the Wood Ducks after holding the Mudcats to one run and two hits over the final three innings of the doubleheader shortened game.
Carolina later flipped the script in game two after scoring three unearned runs in the first before getting Valerio’s grand slam in the second. They had a 7-0 lead after the first two innings and later added two more unearned runs in the fifth while defeating the Wood Ducks 9-1.
Valerio’s grand slam was Carolina’s fifth of the year and went for Valerio’s fifth home run as well. He ended up going 2-for-3 overall with two runs, a home run and four RBI while leading the way in Wednesday’s second game. Andre Nnebe also had a multi-hit game after going 2-for-4 with a double. Mike Wilson also doubled in the second game and went 1-for-2 with two runs.
Like the offense, the Carolina pitching staff also stepped up in a big way in game two as Matulovich and Hasler combined to hold Down East to just one run and three hits. Matulovich allowed one run, struck out six and scattered three hits over four and 1/3. He also reached a career high 84 pitches (53 strikes). Hasler (W, 3.72) then worked two and 2/3 scoreless innings the rest of the way to earn the win. He also finished the game by striking out the side in the seventh.
Down East’s Eris Filpo (1-1, 7.36) took the game two loss after allowed seven run (four earned) on five hits over two innings. He also walked three, struck out two and committed a throwing error in the first that helped lead to three unearned runs. Relievers Nick Yoder and Marc Church followed with Yoder allowing a couple of runs on three hits over two innings and Church struck out three over two scoreless.
The series will continue on Thursday night with game four of the seven game series beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Five County Stadium. The Wood Ducks lead the series 2-1.
Down East 12 @ Carolina 4
July 21, 2021 | Venue : Five County Stadium | First pitch : 5:03 PM | T : 2:31 | T :
WP: Destin Dotson (1 - 0) LP: Miguel Guerrero (4 - 2)
Down East HR : Harris 2 (8, 1st inning off Guerrero, 1 on, 1 out, 3rd inning off Long, 0 on, 2 out); Saggese (6, 1st inning off Guerrero, 1 on, 2 out).
TOP PERFORMERS - BATTERS:
Harris, 1B (Down East): 3-for-5, 3 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Aponte, RF (Down East): 2-for-4, 2 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Osuna, A, LF (Down East): 3-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI
Easley, CF (Down East): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Acuna, DH (Down East): 2-for-5, 2 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
McGee, 3B (Carolina): 1-for-3, 1 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Wiemer, CF (Carolina): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Wilson, RF (Carolina): 1-for-3, 1 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Martinez, E, 1B (Carolina): 1-for-3, 0 R, 0 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI
TOP PERFORMERS - PITCHERS:
Long (Carolina): 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO
Begue (Carolina): 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO
Matthews (Down East): 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
Dotson (W, 1-0) (Down East): 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
*SCORING PLAYS: *
Wood Ducks 1st (Wood Ducks 4, Mudcats 0) -- Keithron Moss strikes out swinging. Luisangel Acuna singles to right field. Dustin Harris hits a home run to right field on a 2-2 pitch, Luisangel Acuna scores. Keyber Rodriguez grounds out, Ashton McGee to Ernesto Martinez. Angel Aponte singles up the middle. Thomas Saggese hits a home run to left field on a 3-2 pitch, Angel Aponte scores. Alejandro Osuna singles to left-center field. Randy Florentino grounds out, Ashton McGee to Ernesto Martinez.
(4 Runs, 5 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB)
Wood Ducks 2nd (Wood Ducks 10, Mudcats 0) -- Jayce Easley hit by pitch. Keithron Moss strikes out swinging, Jayce Easley steals 2nd base. Luisangel Acuna singles to deep shortstop. Dustin Harris pops out to Ashton McGee in foul territory. Wild pitch by Miguel Guerrero, Jayce Easley to 3rd; Luisangel Acuna to 2nd. Keyber Rodriguez singles to left-center field, Jayce Easley scores; Luisangel Acuna scores. Angel Aponte singles to left-center field, Keyber Rodriguez to 2nd. Thomas Saggese walks, Keyber Rodriguez to 3rd; Angel Aponte to 2nd. Pitcher Change: Peyton Long replaces Miguel Guerrero. Alejandro Osuna doubles to left field, Keyber Rodriguez scores; Angel Aponte scores; Thomas Saggese scores. Randy Florentino doubles to right-center field, Alejandro Osuna scores. Jayce Easley grounds out, Freddy Zamora to Ernesto Martinez.
(6 Runs, 5 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB)
Wood Ducks 3rd (Wood Ducks 11, Mudcats 0) -- Keithron Moss strikes out swinging. Luisangel Acuna strikes out swinging. Dustin Harris hits a home run to right field on a 1-0 pitch. Keyber Rodriguez struck out looking.
(1 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors, 0 LOB)
Mudcats 3rd (Wood Ducks 11, Mudcats 2) -- Darrien Miller hit by pitch. Michael Wilson triples to right-center field, Darrien Miller scores. Gabe Holt out on a sacrifice fly to Jayce Easley, Michael Wilson scores. Freddy Zamora flies out to Alejandro Osuna. Ashton McGee singles to right-center field. Felix Valerio grounds out, Keithron Moss to Dustin Harris.
(2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB)
Mudcats 4th (Wood Ducks 11, Mudcats 3) -- Noah Campbell lines out to Jayce Easley. Joey Wiemer walks. Ernesto Martinez triples to right field, Joey Wiemer scores. Darrien Miller hit by pitch. Michael Wilson strikes out swinging. Gabe Holt lines out to Angel Aponte.
(1 Runs, 1 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 LOB)
Mudcats 5th (Wood Ducks 11, Mudcats 4) -- Pitcher Change: Destin Dotson replaces John Matthews. Freddy Zamora struck out looking. Ashton McGee walks. Felix Valerio singles to center field, Ashton McGee to 2nd. Wild pitch by Destin Dotson, Ashton McGee to 3rd. Noah Campbell strikes out swinging. Joey Wiemer doubles to left field, Ashton McGee scores; Felix Valerio to 3rd. Ernesto Martinez grounds out, Keithron Moss to Dustin Harris.
(1 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 LOB)
Wood Ducks 6th (Wood Ducks 12, Mudcats 4) -- Dustin Harris singles to left-center field. Keyber Rodriguez lines out to Noah Campbell. Angel Aponte reaches on fielding error by Ashton McGee, Dustin Harris to 2nd. Thomas Saggese flies out to Noah Campbell. Alejandro Osuna doubles to left-center field, Dustin Harris scores; Angel Aponte to 3rd. Pitcher Change: Brock Begue replaces Peyton Long. Randy Florentino flies out to Michael Wilson.
(1 Runs, 2 Hits, 1 Errors, 2 LOB)
Down East 1 @ Carolina 9
Carolina HR : Valerio, F (5, 2nd inning off Filpo, 3 on, 2 out).
TOP PERFORMERS - BATTERS:
Easley, LF (Down East): 2-for-3, 0 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Acosta, SS (Down East): 1-for-1, 0 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Valerio, F, SS (Carolina): 2-for-3, 2 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Nnebe, LF (Carolina): 2-for-2, 1 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Wilson, RF (Carolina): 1-for-2, 2 R, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Zamora, DH (Carolina): 1-for-4, 2 R, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI
TOP PERFORMERS - PITCHERS:
Yoder (Carolina): 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO
Church (Carolina): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
Matulovich (Down East): 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO
Hasler (W, 1-1) (Down East): 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
Mudcats 1st (Mudcats 3, Wood Ducks 0) -- Gabe Holt pops out to Jose Acosta. Freddy Zamora singles to shallow center field. Ashton McGee lines out to Jayce Easley. Felix Valerio singles to shallow right field, Freddy Zamora to 2nd. Joey Wiemer reaches on throwing error by Eris Filpo, Freddy Zamora scores; Felix Valerio to 3rd; Joey Wiemer to 2nd. Ernesto Martinez doubles to center field, Felix Valerio scores; Joey Wiemer scores. Alex Hall struck out looking.
(3 Runs, 3 Hits, 1 Errors, 1 LOB)
Mudcats 2nd (Mudcats 7, Wood Ducks 0) -- Andre Nnebe doubles to right field. Michael Wilson walks. Gabe Holt walks, Andre Nnebe to 3rd; Michael Wilson to 2nd. Freddy Zamora grounds into a force out, Dustin Harris to Brady Smith, Andre Nnebe out at home, Michael Wilson to 3rd; Gabe Holt to 2nd. Ashton McGee lines out to Jayce Easley. Felix Valerio hits a grand slam to left-center field on a 2-0 pitch, Michael Wilson scores; Gabe Holt scores; Freddy Zamora scores. Joey Wiemer walks. Wild pitch by Eris Filpo, Joey Wiemer to 2nd. Ernesto Martinez strikes out swinging.}
(4 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB)
Wood Ducks 3rd (Mudcats 7, Wood Ducks 1) -- Brady Smith hit by pitch. Jose Acosta singles through the hole at second base, Brady Smith to 3rd. Jayce Easley doubles to right field, Brady Smith scores; Jose Acosta to 3rd. Luisangel Acuna struck out looking. Dustin Harris pops out to Alex Hall in foul territory. Keyber Rodriguez flies out to Michael Wilson.
(1 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 LOB)
Mudcats 5th (Mudcats 9, Wood Ducks 1) -- Andre Nnebe walks. Michael Wilson doubles to center field, Andre Nnebe to 3rd. Gabe Holt reaches on fielding error by Keithron Moss, Andre Nnebe scores; Michael Wilson scores. Freddy Zamora strikes out swinging. Ashton McGee strikes out swinging. Felix Valerio strikes out swinging.
(2 Runs, 1 Hits, 1 Errors, 1 LOB)