WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Troy Stokes Jr. hit a game tying home run in the eighth and scored the go-ahead run in the tenth as the Mudcats won their fourth straight game 8-6 in ten innings on Friday night against the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark.
Stokes was 1-for-3 with two runs, a solo home run (5) and one RBI for Carolina (22-19) in the road victory. Isan Diaz also scored a run in the tenth and was 1-for-3 with three runs and two walks while helping to lead the Mudcats to their fourth straight win. It was also their ninth win in their last 10 games.
The Mudcats led first in Friday's series opener after Lucas Erceg hit a three-run home run with two outs in the first off Dash (13-29) starter Dane Dunning. The home run was Erceg's fifth of the season and the first of two homers on the night for the Mudcats.
Dunning (2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) later left the game after being ejected for throwing a pitch over Erceg's head with two outs in the third. Dash Manager Willie Harris was also ejected following Dunning's ejection. Max Beatty followed Dunning and pitched through four and 1/3 innings with just one unearned run allowed on two hits.
Louis Silverio answered back with a two-out RBI triple in the first off Carolina's starter Freddy Peralta, but the Mudcats held their lead through the third before the Dash tied the game with two runs in the fourth.
Brady Conlan then hit a game tying two-run double off Peralta in the fourth to lock it up at 3-3 after four. Zack Collins later broke the tie with an opposite field home run to left in the fifth to give Winston-Salem it's first lead at 4-3.
Peralta left after the fifth with four runs (two earned) allowed on just three hits. He finished the game with two walks and matched a career high with nine strikeouts. Marcos Diplan (2-1, 5.23) followed Peralta and eventually earned the win after allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits over five innings pitched. He also walked one and struck out five.
Jake Gatewood doubled and scored on a dropped fly ball to deep right by Trent Clark to tie the game again at 4-4 in the sixth. The double was Gatewood's Carolina League best 16th of the season.
Conlan struck again in the seventh by reaching on a single to short and later scored on a throwing error to left by catcher Max McDowell.
The Mudcats trailed 5-4 entering their half of the eighth, but managed to rally for two runs against Ryan Riga while taking a 6-5 lead. Stokes started the frame with his fifth home run of the season and Diaz followed by walking and scoring later in the frame on a throwing error by Riga.
Diplan stayed in for the ninth, but lost the 6-5 lead when he gave up a game tying home run to Conlan. Conlan was 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs and was the only Dash player with more than one hit in the game.
The game then went to extras and Stokes and Diaz did the damage once again as they both scored a run against Andre Wheeler in the tenth. Stokes walked and scored on a wild pitch and Diaz singled and scored on a RBI single from Gatewood in the final inning.
Wheeler (0-1, 5.71) took the loss after allowing two runs on three hits over two innings pitched. Riga suffered a blown save after giving up two runs (one earned) on two hits in one inning. Riga also had a throwing error that allowed a run to score.
UP NEXT: The Mudcats will look for their fifth straight win on Saturday night during game two of the four game series scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem. Saturday's game will air on the Mudcats Radio Network, The Big Dawg 98.5 FM and carolinamudcats.com.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.