ZEBULON, N.C. – Pinch-hitter Luis Castillo delivered a walk-off double in the 11th as the Carolina Mudcats rallied late to defeat the visiting Down East Wood Ducks 4-3 in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Friday night at Five County Stadium.
The Mudcats (34-23, 67-53) originally broke what was a scoreless tie in through five with two runs in the sixth while going up 2-0 late in the doubleheader shortened seven-inning game. That two run frame started with a double from Luke Adams and continued with a run-scoring double from Jadher Areinamo and a two-out run-scoring infield single from Reidy Mercado.
Trailing 2-0, the Wood Ducks (26-31, 63-55) went on to answer Carolina’s two-run sixth with two runs to tie the game in the seventh. Both of their runs, however, would score without the help of a run-scoring hit as newly inserted reliever Yerlin Rodriguez walked in a run and lost a wild pitch to score another.
Rodriguez (BS, 2) inherited a bases loaded jam from fellow reliever Yujanyer Herrera when he came in for what could have been the seventh and final inning. Herrera allowed a hit and walked two before departing the seventh. He had previously worked through four scoreless frames while pitching in relief of starter Will Rudy (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 SO).
The ballgame was locked at 2-2 after seven and remained that way through the 10th before both sides scored in the 11th. Down East scored once in its half of the 10th with a Konnor Piotto sac fly, but the Mudcats answered with two thanks to Castillo’s, pinch-hit, walk-off double. Castillo hit for Mercado in the 11th and drove in both pinch-runner Juan Baez from third and Daniel Guilarte from first to win it for the Mudcats.
Reliever Alberto Mota allowed the Castillo game winner and walked a batter while taking the loss. Mota was in for what was his first inning of the ballgame and ended up recording just one out while facing three.
Carolina’s Bayden Root picked up the win despite allowing one run in the top of the 11th inning. He followed Blake Whiting who had spun his way through two perfect innings in his Carolina, and Class-A debut. Both Root and Whiting were recently added to the Mudcats from the Arizona Complex Champion ACL Brewers earlier in the week.
The victory was Carolina’s second straight in the series and gave them a 2-1 lead in the six-game set.
Carolina Held to Four Hits in 4-0 Game 2 Loss
Aquino started and pitched through a season-high six scoreless for the Mudcats in the Game 2 loss
ZEBULON, N.C. – Patricio Aquino struck out five while pitching through six scoreless innings and Jadher Areinamo extended his hitting streak to a career-best 10 consecutive games, but starter Leandro Lopez and reliever Eury Rosado held the Carolina Mudcats to just four hits as the Down East Wood Ducks earned a doubleheader splitting 4-0 victory on Friday night at Five County Stadium.
Lopez started for the Wood Ducks (27-31, 64-55) and pitched through three scoreless with six strikeouts and two hits. Rosado (W, 1-0) worked the remainder of the doubleheader shortened game as he turned in four scoreless frames with two hits, one walk and two strikeouts.
Carolina (34-24, 67-54) reliever Chase Costello ended up with the loss as he lost the 0-0 tie while giving up four runs and three hits in the seventh. Costello () recorded just one out in the seventh, but ended up facing five batters while allowing a RBI single to Marcos Torres and a RBI double to JoJo Blackmon.
Tyler Wehrle took over with two on in the seventh and gave up a RBI single to Konnor Piotto before eventually escaping the inning without any other damage.
Costello and Wehrle combined to work the seventh and final inning while following Aquino and his six-inning gem. Aquino scattered five hits, walked two and struck out five before leaving the scoreless game after the sixth. His sixth and final frame saw him work through a no-out, bases loaded jam. He also left a runner at third and second in the third and fourth.
The loss dropped the Mudcats into a 2-2 tie in their six-game series against the visiting Wood Ducks. The loss also trimmed Carolina’s first-place lead to 2.0 games over Lynchburg in the Carolina League North Second Half playoff race.