ZEBULON, N.C. - Troy Stokes Jr. hit a game tying home run in the sixth, Jake Gatewood was 3-for-4 with three doubles and three runs, Luis Aviles drove in two runs with two hits and Max McDowell was 1-for-3 with two RBIs as the Mudcats erased a late three run deficit to defeat the Keys 9-3 at Five County Stadium on Easter Sunday in Zebulon.
Carolina (6-4) trailed 3-0 as they entered the sixth of Sunday's series finale against the visiting Keys (4-6), but then rallied for three runs in the sixth to tie it. Gatewood ignited the three run comeback with a double to deep right and Aviles brought him in moments later with a single to center. Stokes then followed with his home run to left and the Mudcats tied the game at 3-3. The home run was Stokes' second and Carolina's first at home this season.
The Mudcats later took the lead with three more runs in the seventh and then added three in the eighth while winning the series finale and finishing with a split in the four game set. Gatewood broke the 3-3 tie with a go-ahead ground rule double in the seventh and later scored on McDowell's two-out, bases loaded, two-run single off Franderlin Romero in the seventh.
Romero (0-1, 7.88) suffered the loss after losing Frederick's 3-0 lead in the sixth and allowing six earned runs on eight hits over an inning and 2/3 out of the bullpen. He pitched all of the sixth and stayed in for the seventh until being knocked out of the game following McDowell's bases loaded hit.
Quintin Torres-Costa (W, 2-0) struck out five in three innings out of the bullpen and earned the win. He entered the game in the fifth with the Mudcats down 1-0 and went on to allow two runs before keeping Frederick scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings.
Jonathon Olczak (S, 1) pitched the final two innings and earned his second consecutive save. He entered the game after the Mudcats took a 6-3 lead and finished the game with four strikeouts over two innings pitched.
Frederick's Olfelky Peralta started and held the Mudcats scoreless and to just one hit over five full innings before leaving the game. Peralta gave up a triple to Corey Ray in the first, but would then hold the Mudcats without a hit through the fifth in his strong outing. Peralta finished the game with nine strikeouts, four walks and just the one hit allowed.
Ray's triple came in his first at-bat of the 2017 season. He finished the game 2-for-5 with one run and two strikeouts in his Mudcats debut.
Conor Harber started for the Mudcats and allowed one run and four hits over four innings. He also walked one and struck out three in his first start of the year.
The Mudcats continue their first home stand of the season with game one of a three game series versus the Lynchburg Hillcats on Monday night. Corbin Burnes will start in Monday's game for the Mudcats. The first pitch is at 7:00 p.m. The game will air on the Mudcats Radio Network, The Big Dawg 98.5 FM and carolinamudcats.com via TuneIn Radio beginning at 6:45 p.m. with the Mudcats pregame show.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.