by Mike Potter
FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats conclude their three-game Independence Day celebration on a hot night, looking to even their current series.
Nick Pasquale (0-5, 5.14) will try to get out of the doldrums against Salem southpaw Henry Owens (6-3, 2.91).
Tonight Carolina plays probably its best game since April, rolling in a 9-0 rout.
The Mudcats get something going in the second. Jordan Smith draws a leadoff walk, followed by Paddy Matera’s one-out single to left and back-to-back RBI singles to left from Tyler Naquin and Francisco Lindor.
And they knock Owens out in the third. Jerrud Sabourin draws a leadoff walk, followed by Bryson Myles’ RBI double to left. Smith walks again before Bo Greenwell’s RBI single up the middle to chase Owens. With one out, Naquin hits an RBI single to right to make it 5-0.
They turn it into a rout with three more in the fourth off Heri Quevedo. Sabourin and Smith each double before Greenwell hits a two-out, two-run double to right and scores on Matera’s single to center.
It goes to 9-0 on Quevedo’s final pitch of the game, a bases-loaded ball four with nobody out in the sixth.
Pasquale finishes his best outing of the season, going seven shutout innings and allowing four hits with three strikeouts against one walk.
Carolina finishes with 13 hits to the visitors’ four. Greenwell chips in a double and two singles for three RBI while Myles doubles twice and singled with an RBI. Naquin and Matera each had two hits with two RBI.
They said it …
Mudcats manager David Wallace: “This feels great. We’re real happy coming off the heels of last night (a 3-0 loss). We executed our plan and our approach. We had a quick little chat about it this afternoon and the guys took it right into the game. It was very positive.”
Pasquale: “The team won and it was a nice all-around game for everybody. I’ve been learning myself and not trying to do too much. I tried to keep my sinker down in the zone and just let it work. And run support like that always makes it a little easier.”
Greenwell: “It felt good to finally get some hits. I’ve been struggling here lately, and it was good to see the team come together and put together a performance like that, especially with a crowd like we had tonight (5,989). It’s been tough when pitchers have thrown great games and we haven’t hit. It was great to match it up tonight.”
What does it all mean?
That once in a while the Mudcats can put together some contagious hitting.
Stars of the game
Play of the game
Greenwell’s two-run double in the fourth.
Mudcats: Won 1.
Salem: Lost 1.
Salem leads 6-5.
Mudcats (Cory Anderson 6-3, 2.48) vs. Salem (Mickey Pena 3-3, 6.16), Saturday, 6:15 p.m.