Carolina League – Carolina Pounds Salem Again, 13-6
The Carolina Mudcats picked up right where they left off from yesterday, pounding the Salem Red Sox 13-6. After winning last night’s game against the Red Sox 5-1, the Mudcats have a half-game lead in the Southern Division, pending the outcome of Myrtle Beach’s game with Potomac.
Salem actually grabbed the early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but that did not last long. In the top of the second, Jeremy Lucas led off with a walk and moved to third when Alex Monsalve doubled. Jerrud Sabourin then followed with a double to right field, scoring both runners. Logan Vicks then drew a one out walk and Todd Hankins singled to score Sabourin. Yhoxian Medina shot a single through to left field to score Vick, and Salem starter Simon Mercedes’ day was over quickly. Joe Sever would greet reliever William Cuevas with a sacrifice fly and the inning would come to an end one out later with Carolina leading 5-1.
For the Mudcats the fun was just getting started however. Just like Lucas led off the second with a walk, he would do the same in the third. After a wild pitch, Monsalve would pop out to short and Sabourin followed with a walk. James Roberts singled loading the bases, and then Vick walked again, scoring Lucas and leaving the bases loaded. Todd Hankins hit a grounder to short that could have ended the inning with a douple-play, but Mike Miller made a poor throw and two runs scored on the error. Medina hit a sac fly and Sever singled scoring one more, and very quickly the Red Sox were out of the game, down 10-1.
Both teams would exchange runs in the fourth, and the Mudcats would get two more in the sixth to grab a 13-2 lead. Salem was still going to try to make a game of it though. Kevin Heller hit a one-out single to center in the seventh, which prompted a pitching change of Ben Heller for Cole Sulser. Jordan Weems and Matty Johnson followed with singles, with Johnson’s driving home Heller. A wild pitch by Heller would then score Weems, and a single by Dreily Guerrero would score Johnson. Quickly the 11-run lead was cut to eight.
A sacrifice fly by Heller in the bottom of the eighth would drive home another run for Salem, but it was too little, too late by this point. The Red Sox were not going to overcome the seven remaining runs they needed to tie the game, and would fall to the Mudcats.
Every Mudcat starter had at least one hit, and six different players drove in runs, while seven different Carolina players scored runs. It was a great hitting display that made a winner of Cole Sulser (4-9) and a loser of Simone Mercedes (2-8).
With the win Carolina grabbed a half-game lead. Myrtle Beach and Potomac were in the 13th inning at the time of this posting.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA