ZEBULON, N.C. (Aug. 31, 2017) - A.J. Puckett spun a quality start and four Dash batters -- Sam Dexter, Jameson Fisher, Bryant Flete and Seby Zavala -- posted multi-hit games, but Winston-Salem could not hold a late-inning lead, dropping Thursday's series finale to the Carolina Mudcats 4-3 in walk-off fashion at Five County Stadium.
With the game knotted at three in the bottom of the ninth, Louie Lechich (2-6) came back on the mound for his second inning of work. However, he would not record an out in the frame. Lechich served up a leadoff double to Weston Wilson to begin the ninth and then proceeded to bobble a sacrifice bunt attempt from Wendell Rijo to put the go-ahead run 90 feet away for the Mudcats (33-33, 69-65).
Caleb Whalen swung at the first pitch he saw from Lechich, smacking a ground ball up the middle through the drawn-in Dash infield to send Carolina to a walk-off 4-3 win and a series sweep.
Puckett tossed six innings on Thursday, notching his third quality start in five tries with Winston-Salem (29-37, 53-83). The former Kansas City farmhand allowed just one run on Wilson's solo shot in the third and struck out four. Puckett set down 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.
In the fifth, the Dash finally broke through against Mudcats starter Zack Brown with a pair of RBI singles. After Toby Thomas doubled with two down in the inning, Dexter and Flete laced back-to-back run-scoring knocks to give Winston-Salem a 2-1 lead.
Flete continued his hot night at the plate in the seventh, hooking a line drive home run just inside the right field foul pole to push the Dash out to a 3-1 edge. Flete's seventh-inning blast marked his first homer since joining the White Sox organization on July 13 in the trade for big leaguer Jose Quintana.
Mick VanVossen relieved Puckett to start the seventh, quickly retiring the first two batters he faced on a couple of fly outs. VanVossen then proceeded to plunk Wilson in the back and bring the tying run to the plate. The batter Rijo delivered, slicing a two-run homer just over the left field fence to tie the game at three.
Eric Hanhold (8-3) earned the victory after striking out the side in the ninth during his lone inning of relief for the Mudcats.
In the loss, Louis Silverio extended his hitting streak to nine games with a second-inning single. The Florida native is averaging .429 (15-for-35) during this nine-game stretch, which is two games shy of the longest streak by a Winston-Salem slugger this season.
With Wednesday's defeat, the Dash have now fallen in 17 consecutive games at Five County Stadium dating back to the final four games of the 2016 campaign. Winston-Salem went 0-13 in Zebulon in 2017, marking the first time in the Dash era (2009-present) that the club has dropped every road contest at one facility in a single season.
The Dash begin their final series of the 2017 season against the Salem Red Sox on Friday, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. from Haley Toyota Field. Right-hander Yosmer Solorzano (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his first High-A start for Winston-Salem and will oppose Salem righty Daniel Gonzalez (4-0, 1.65 ERA). Coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. and will be available online at wsdash.com/broadcast, MiLB.tv and via the TuneIn Radio App. For more information, visit wsdash.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.