Zebulon, N.C. - After tying the game in the sixth inning, the Wilmington Blue Rocks (15-21) were unable to keep the Carolina Mudcats (18-19) off the scoreboard and lost the series finale by the score of 6-3 Sunday afternoon at Five County Stadium. Emmanuel Rivera hit his third home run of the season while Kort Peterson led the offense with two hits. Wilmington dropped three of the four games against Carolina.
Both starting pitchers in Cristian Castillo for the Blue Crew and Braden Webb for the Mudcats exchanged scoreless innings through the first two frames before Carolina cracked the scoreboard in the third inning. Dallas Carrol drove in two with a single before Tucker Neuhaus added another run on a base hit to make it a 3-0 deficit for Wilmington. In the top of the sixth inning, Peterson led the inning off with a single and Khalil Lee drew a one-out walk before Rivera smacked his third home run of the season off the video board in left centerfield to tie the game at 3-3.
Wilmington was unable to keep Carolina off the board as the Mudcats responded in their half of the sixth with a Ronnie Gideon solo home run and RBI double from Luis Aviles Jr. to make it a 5-3 hole for Wilmington. In the seventh inning, Robert Henry homered to help pad the Carolina lead 6-3.
The Blue Rocks return to Frawley Stadium on Tuesday, May 15 to welcome the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for a brief, three-game homestand. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with RHP Jace Vines (1-5, 7.08 ERA) starting for Wilmington while RHP Tyson (3-3, 3.38 ERA) makes the start for Myrtle Beach. Fans can listen to the game as Matt Janus and Cory Nidoh will have the call on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
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Third baseman Emmanuel Rivera has been the most consistent bat in the Wilmington lineup. He hit his third home run of the season Sunday and added to his team-lead in RBI with the three run shot. During the four-game series, Rivera hit .294 (5-for-17) with a pair of doubles, a home run and drove in six runs. The 21-year-old is off to a strong start to the second month of the campaign and is hitting .313 (15-for-48) in 12 games played this month.
Kort Peterson has been on a torrid pace at the plate over the last 10 games. Sunday, he added two more hits and scored a run and extended his hitting streak to a season-high seven games and has reached base in 10 straight contests. On Saturday, he drove in the team's lone run with an RBI double in the ninth inning. Friday, he delivered the game-tying RBI single in the top of the eighth inning. Over his last 10 games, the outfielder is hitting .529 (18-for-34). He is second on the team in hits (35) and home runs (4).
The Blue Rocks will continue their stretch of facing Southern Division opponents when they welcome in the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from Tuesday, May 15 - Thursday, May 17. On the season, Wilmington is 4-6 against the Southern Division and 3-3 at home. It will be the first meeting between the two teams this season.
THEY SAID IT, MANAGER DARRYL KENNEDY:
(On Castillo's outing) "He had one or two pitches that really hurt him. I thought he did a good job overall. We gave up three runs early in the game. I thought he did a good job keeping us right there and gave us a chance. We got a big home run to tie the game, but those two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning hurt him. It was just one or two pitches here and there that were hit hard and it's been for a home run usually."
(On ending a season series in mid-May) "It's definitely weird. We were talking about that. We don't see them again unless hopefully it's in a playoff situation if that's a possibility. It's very weird to be in May and not see them again which is tough looking forward because you have to play your division a lot. That's how it is though and if we want to go to the playoffs, we have to beat the teams in our division and this scheduled allows you to do that."
(Timing of having Monday off) "I think it's a perfect time for it. This is the longest stretch we have gone all year and we kind of hit a slide at the end of this span with consecutive games. We have a nice bus ride on the way home, the day off (Monday) and then we have Myrtle Beach coming in and we are looking forward to that."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.