KINSTON, N.C. – Gabe Holt totaled four hits, Noah Campbell hit a two-run home run, and three different Mudcats had doubles as the Mudcats matched a team record with 24 and set a franchise record four doubles in a game with 10 in Wednesday’s 19-10 victory versus the Wood Ducks.
The Wood Ducks (48-37) originally led 1-0 in the first after getting a run-scoring groundout from Luisangel Acuna. That lone Down East run was allowed in by starter Brandon Knarr, but was the only run allowed by Carolina’s starter in his brilliant outing. Knarr (7-2) allowed just one run on two hits and struck out seven while pitching through the fifth for the Mudcats (52-34).
While Knarr dealt on the mound, the Carolina offense supported him in a big way while quickly erasing the early deficit with two runs in the second, four in the third, five in the fourth, three in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in both the seventh and eighth while totaling 19 runs before it was all said and done. The Wood Ducks later rallied for another run in the seventh and eight in the eighth, but Carolina went on to win 19-10.
The Carolina offense matched a franchise record with 24 hits in the game. Those 24 hits matched the 1997 Mudcats for most hits in a game with 24 on July 6, 1997 vs. Huntsville. While Carolina came up short in a new hits record, they did total a franchise record 10 doubles in the game with all but one player registering at least one double in the game. Three players had two doubles in the game including Freddy Zamora, Wes Clarke and Micah Bello.
It was a double from Alex Hall that scored Carolina’s first runs of the game in the second. His two-run double was one of two hits in the inning off starter John Matthews and put the Mudcats up 2-1. The Mudcats then recorded four straight hits – including three straight doubles from Zamora, Ashton McGee (two-run double) and Clarke – while scoring four runs in the third. That four-run frame would be the final frame for Matthews (2-4, 7.78) in his start. Matthews allowed six runs and six hits over three innings in the loss.
Carolina led 6-1 after the third, but then burst out for five more runs and five more hits in the fourth to take an 11-1 lead. That five hit and five-run frame included a run-scoring single from Gabe Holt, an RBI single from Zamora, a bases-loaded walk for Clarke, and an RBI single from Hall.
Three more Carolina runs came across in the fifth as Felix Valerio drove in one with an RBI double and Holt came through an RBI double of his own in the sixth. Carolina led 7-1 through six, but then added two more on a two-run home run from Noah Campbell in the seventh. Finally, Bello capped the high-scoring game with a ground-rule double that scored two more for the Mudcats.
In the end, eight different Mudcats had at least two hits in the game and eight players scored at least one run. Carolina also saw eight different Mudcats drive in at least one run as well.
Carolina improved to 11-2 in games started by Knarr with the victory. Knarr was later followed by relievers Nate Peden, Brock Begue and Kent Hasler. Peden allowed a run on four hits over two innings. Begue allowed four hits as well, but also saw eight runs (one earned) score in the eighth. Hasler eventually finished the game with a scoreless ninth.
With the victory, the Mudcats moved to 3.5 games ahead of the Wood Ducks in the Low-A East Central standings. Carolina also tied the series at 1-1 with the game two of six victory. The series will continue on Thursday night beginning at 7 p.m. at Grainger Stadium in Kinston.