Late-inning fireworks spark Mudcats' win over Hillcats

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FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The good news for the Carolina Mudcats is that it’s early yet — at least in the second half.

After a Tuesday night rainout, the Mudcats (3-8 in the half) will take on the Lynchburg Hillcats in the finale of their scheduled three-game series. (Tuesday’s contest will be made up on Aug. 21).

It’s the first of three straight home games that will be followed by fireworks to celebrate Independence Day.

Michael Peoples (0-4, 5.87) will go for the Mudcats tonight against Jarrett Miller (5-5, 4.08) after a 31-minute rain delay.

The Mudcats recover from losing a three-run lead and win it in the eighth inning, prevailing 5-4 in a rare win over the Lynchburgers.

Lynchburg takes the lead after just one out, as Will Skinner launches an 0-1 offering over the wall just inside the left-field foul pole.

And the Mudcats jump all over Miller in the fifth. Bryson Myles leads off by reaching on an error to third baseman Kyle Kubitza, followed by a walk to Bo Greenwell. With one out, Zack MacPhee walks followed by Tyler Naquin’s RBI grounder to second. Francisco Lindor follows with a two-run triple to left, followed by Tony Wolters’ RBI double to right.

But the Hillcats respond by knocking out Peoples in the seventh. Elmer Reyes and Emerson Landoni knock back-to-back singles, and then with one out Skinner blasts the next pitch off the scoreboard in left.

And in the Mudcats’ eighth, the pop-ups get eyes off Nate Hyatt. Paddy Matera leads off with a blooper just far enough behind third, and Joey Wendle comes on to pinch-run. MacPhee bunts to the pitcher, followed by a walk to Naquin. Then with two out Wolters hits a dying quail that is just beyond shortstop Reyes’ reach and scores Wendle with the winner.

Lindor leads with way with his triple, double and single for a pair of RBI, while catcher Wolters doubles with two singles for two RBI.

Peoples lasts 5 1/3 in the no-decision, allowing four runs on five hits with six strikeouts against a walk. Rob Nixon (2-3) gets the win, backed by Jeff Johnson’s eighth save.

They said it …

Mudcats manager David Wallace: “We had a lot of opportunities, and then we got one clutch hit. We’ve been battling to the last out and this time it worked out for us. It’s about time some balls like that fell for us. I’m proud of the guys and how they fought. That was a heartbreaker for Peoples, but he earned the right to pitch into the sixth. We’re happy with the way he pitched.”

Wolters: “I was just trying to get that last one over his head. Our guys all played awesome tonight, and I hope this is a spark that will get us going. We’re all winners in here and we’re ready to start winning. The pitching was awesome. They’re just trying to keep it simple and throw strikes and tonight they did it.”

Peoples: “I located my fastball well the first five innings. The curveball wasn’t really there, but the changeup was there in good counts. And Tony did a great job calling the game and we went with what worked. (Skinner) just jumped on a couple of fastballs.”

What does it all mean?

That the Mudcats have a little momentum heading into their next series with Salem.

Stars of the game
1. Lindor.
2. Wolters.
3. Peoples.

Play of the game

Wolters’ game-winning single.

Streaks
Mudcats: Won 1.
Lynchburg: Lost 1.

Season series

Lynchburg leads 7-2.

On deck
Mudcats (Joseph Colon 0-0, 4.20) vs. Salem (Mike Augliera 5-5, 4.67) Thursday, 7:15 p.m.

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