by Mike Potter
The Carolina Mudcats aren’t just in first place in the Southern League’s North Division now.
Jake Kahaulelio homered and singled for two RBI, leading the visiting Mudcats’ 15-hit attack in a 9-1 rout of the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx on Saturday night.
The Durham Bulls were also winners, topping the Norfolk Tides 5-3 on the road.
The Bulls will look for sweep of the four-game, two-city series with the Tides in the finale of the current series on Sunday afternoon at Harbor Park.
The Mudcats’ next game is on Wednesday at home against the Montgomery Biscuits.
Mudcats 9, West Tenn 1
Denis Phipps tripled and singled for the Mudcats, who got multiple-hit games from five players.
Ace southpaw Tom Cochran (7-3) got the victory, going six innings and allowing the run on three hits with five strikeouts against three walks before Ruben Medina came on for his second save of the season. Steven Hensley (6-7) took the loss.
Dave Sappelt had three hits including a double with an RBI for Carolina.
Nate Tenbrink’s homer provided the Diamond Jaxx’ run while UNC alum Dustin Ackley chipped in two of West Tenn’s four hits.
Bulls 5, Norfolk 3
Joe Dillon led the way with a pair of doubles for two RBI and scored three runs for the Bulls.
The Bulls were without manager Charlie Montoyo, outfielder Desmond Jennings and pitcher Jeremy Hellickson, all of whom are in Anaheim for the Major League Futures Game.
Elliot Johnson chipped in three hits for the winners, while Angel Chavez added a pair of hits for two RBI.
Mike Ekstrom (4-1) was the winning pitcher in relief, while Winston Abreu collected his 11th save of the season. Chris George (4-4) took the loss.
Nolan Reimold homered and singled for Norfolk.
Bulls at Norfolk, 1:15 p.m.
Carlos Hernandez (L, 6-4, 3.96) vs. TBA