by Mike Potter
FIVE COUNTY STADIUM/ZEBULON The Carolina Mudcats have a little momentum, and tonight they get to see what they can do with it.
It’s sunny and warm with no threat of rain at game time, as Dallas Buck takes the hill for Carolina against Alberto Bastardo. Buck is 2-3, but with a 6.29 ERA.
The two teams end up settling nothing, as it’s 5-5 when a hailstorm stops play following the 10th inning and forces a suspension. They’ll finish it Friday night beginning at 6 p.m., with team management adding that the regularly scheduled game will not start before 7:15.
The first three innings are scoreless before the Lookouts tag Buck in the fourth. Trayvon Robinson leads off with a single to left followed by an RBI double to left from Scott Van Slyke, the first son of a former Mudcat (Andy Van Slyke) to play in the park as a pro. With one out, Eddy Perez hits an RBI single to left to make it 2-0.
But the Mudcats get Buck off the hook in a big way in the fifth. Pinch-hitter extraordinaire Sean Danielson leads off with a single, scoring on Kris Negron’s triple to the right-field corner. Negron scores on Jake Kahaulelio’s grounder to third. Yonder Alonso re-starts the rally with a single to right followed by Denis Phipps’ single to left. After Sean Henry hits a single to left to load the bases, Dave Sappelt rips a two-run single to left to make it 4-2.
The Lookouts rally in the eighth off Philippe Valiquette to retake the lead. Jaime Pedroza hits a one-out single to right, followed by a walk to Robinson and Van Slyke’s single to right to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Corey Smith then hits a two-run single to right followed by Perez’ go-ahead single to left.
And the Mudcats tie it up in the bottom of the frame. With former Mudcat Harvey Garcia on the mound, Michael Griffin hits a one-out double to right but is gunned down at third. Danielson follows with a single to center, and then Negron walks before Kahaulelio greets Eric Krebs with an RBI double down the left-field line.
The Mudcats have 16 hits to Chattanooga’s 12. Henry and Danielson lead the Mudcats with three hits apiece at the time of the suspension, while Sappelt has two hits for two RBI, Negron an RBI triple and Kahaulelio a double with two RBI.
They said it …
Mudcats manager David Bell: “This has been a great game. A lot of good things happened. (Jordan) Smith and (Sean) Watson were good out of the pen. The runs aren’t coming real easy here, but they’re battling and scratching and clawing for some runs. … Danielson came in and played a full game, almost. Three hits for him is huge. He can come off the bench and do a lot of things.”
Buck: “I threw OK. The team came through and picked me up and got me off the hook. I think we’re turning it around. It’s coming. It’s not that easy to turn it around after you go on a skid like that (a 1-9 road trip), but morale is good and things are going to get better.”
Kahaulelio: “I was swinging OK. It doesn’t matter what you do at the beginning of the game if you can do something at the end. I was what, 0-for-4 before that last at-bat? I went up there, watched Kris get a good walk, I got a good pitch to hit and squeezed one down the line. We’re hitting the ball well. We’ve just got to find more green out there, you know?”
What does it all mean?
That the Mudcats need to finish off the win to keep headed in the right direction.
Play of the night
Kahaulelio’s two-out double in the eighth that tied the score.
Mudcats lead 1-0.
Mudcats: Won 1.
Chattanooga: Lost 2.
Chattanooga: Activated C Alex Garabedian. Placed C Mike Rivera on Temporary Inactive List.
Chattanooga at Mudcats (complete suspended game), Friday, 6 p.m.
Chattanooga at Mudcats, Friday, following suspended game
Chris Withrow (R, 1-2, 7.04) vs. Tom Cochran (L, 2-1, 2.86)