ZEBULON, N.C. - Conor Harber took a no-hitter into the sixth and pitched through six full innings with just one hit allowed and three strikeouts while leading the Mudcats to a 4-1 victory against the Wood Ducks on Saturday night at Five County Stadium.
The series finale victory pulled the Mudcats (47-44, 11-12) into a 2-2 series split in the four game set with the visiting Wood Ducks (35-56, 11-11). It also brought the Mudcats back within a game of .500 in the second half standings at 11-12.
Harber (2-6, 5.43) walked Matt Lipka to start the game, but later got Evan Van Hoosier to pop into an inning ended double play in the first. He then went on to face the minimum through the fifth after retiring the side in order in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings.
Harber retired 14 straight batters between leadoff walks in the first and sixth innings and carried the no-hit bid into the sixth. Lipka later broke up the no-hit bid after reaching on a two-out single to center in front of center fielder Monte Harrison in the sixth.
In all, Harber struck out three, walked two and allowed just one hit while pitching through six scoreless and while turning in his second quality start of the season. He worked to a game score of 73 and finished with 74 pitches (45 strikes).
The Mudcats gave Harber a lead to work with while collecting four runs on five hits against Down East starter Jonathan Hernandez and reliever Tyler Ferguson in the fifth. Hernandez (1-3, 5.59) allowed two runs and two hits in the fifth and took the loss. Ferguson also allowed two runs and gave up three hits in the four run Carolina fifth inning.
Harrison started the fifth inning rally with a double and scored moments later after Max McDowell delivered with a RBI double to left. McDowell's double gave the Mudcats a 1-0 lead and knocked Hernandez out of the game. Ferguson then followed and went on to give up a RBI single to Trent Clark and a two-run single to Jake Gatewood later in the frame.
Carolina had just one hit against Hernandez before the fifth and did not record another hit in the game after collecting five in the game changing fifth inning.
Trey Supak later pitched the seventh and worked the final three innings while earning his first save of the season. Supak (S, 1) gave up a pinch-hit home run to Preston Scott with two outs in the ninth, but finished with just one run allowed on three hits over his three inning save.
Ferguson stayed in the game through the seventh for Down East and Grant Zawadski worked the eighth while holding the Mudcats without a run. Zawadski walked two and struck out two in the eighth for the Wood Ducks.
Gatewood finished the game 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Stokes and Clark each had a hit and score one run apiece. Harrison and McDowell both doubled and scored while going 1-for-4 and 1-for-3 respectively in the game.
UP NEXT: The Mudcats finished their home stand at 2-2 with the visiting Wood Ducks and next play on the road in Salem on Sunday afternoon beginning at 1:05 p.m. at Haley Toyota Field in Salem, VA. 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.