Morimando starts shutout as Mudcats get back to .500

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Shawn Morimando threw fve shutout innings in his second straight start.
FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats are playing much better in the second half than they did in the first, when they were the worst team in the Carolina League.

Going into tonight’s hot game against in-state rival Winston-Salem the Mudcats are just one game below .500 in the second half, in third place in the Southern Division with a half-game lead over the Dash. The last time the Muddies were at .500 in a half was on April 15.

Carolina is coming off a thriller from Thursday night, a 5-2 win on Bryson Myles’ walk-off homer in the 14th.
Southpaw Shawn Morimando (5-9, 3.03) will take on the Dash’s Bryan Blough (8-6, 4.47).

The Mudcats get the job done, recording their sixth shutout of the season and third of the half in a 4-0 victory.

Carolina gets to Blough for a pair in the fourth. Joey Wendle leads off with a single to right and then Jerrud Sabourin reaches on an error to shortstop Joey DeMichele. After Myles is hit by a pitch, Justin Toole rips a two-out, two-run single to right.

The Mudcats added two more in the fifth. Smith leads off with a single to right, followed by Wendle’s one-out RBI double to right followed by Paddy Matera’s RBI double to left.

Matera goes 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI, Wendle 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Toole finishes with two hits for two RBI.

Morimando goes five innings and allows five hits, striking out six against a pair of walks. Francisco Valera pitches 2 2/3 innings before Josh Martin collects the save.

They said it …
Mudcats manager David Wallace: “We’ve been playing some good ball. I love the way we’re throwing the ball, and we’ve got some good clutch hitting. Our at-bats with runners in scoring position are improving and that all adds up to more wins.”

Morimando: “I thought my outing went good. I was able to keep us in the game as long as I was out there. We’re playing awesome baseball right now. We’re scoring runs and pitching well and doing everything we need to do to win.”

Matera: “We’re clicking at the right time. Everything is working with our hitting, defense and pitching. I’ve been here for a little over a month now, and the chemistry has really been building. It’s been a great team effort, and I’m just happy to help.”

What does it all mean?
They’re 500.

Stars of the game
1. Morimando.
2. Matera.
3. Wendle.

Play of the game

With two out in the Dash eighth and the bases loaded, catcher Alex Lavisky picked Adam Heisler off first.

Streaks
Mudcats: Won 2.
Winston-Salem: Lost 2.

Season series

Mudcats lead 8-7.

On deck

Mudcats (Nick Pasquale 1-6, 5.40) vs. Winston-Salem (Myles Jaye), Saturday, 6:15 p.m.

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