Zebulon – The Carolina Mudcats closed out the 2017 season with a seven game winning streak after defeating the Pelicans 3-1 in Monday’s season finale at Five County Stadium. Max McDowell hit a solo home run and both Monte Harrison and Weston Wilson had run scoring hits in the sweep clinching victory for the Mudcats in Zebulon.
Kodi Medeiros started for the Mudcats (73-65, 37-33) and earned the victory after holding the Pelicans (73-67, 30-40) scoreless over six quality innings. Medeiros (8-9, 4.98) struck out four, walked three and gave up six hits while closing out his season with four straight victories.
Oscar De La Cruz started for Myrtle Beach and took the loss despite leaving after the first inning with just one run allowed. De La Cruz (4-3, 3.46) allowed back-to-back two-out hits in the first and behind 1-0 after giving up RBI double to Wilson in the opening frame.
Harrison started the two-out rally with a double to left and Wilson followed with a ground-rule double to right to put Carolina on top 1-0 early in the game. Harrison finished the game 2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a run scored. Wilson also drove in one and was 1-for-4 in the finale game of the season. Like Harrison, Corey Ray also had a multi-hit game after going 2-for-2 off the bench.
The Mudcats led 1-0 after the first, but went up 2-0 when McDowell launched a solo home run to left off reliever Ryan Kellogg in the second. The homer was McDowell’s third in his last seven games and fourth overall this season. Harrison later drove in Luis Aviles with RBI single off Kellogg in the third and the Mudcats had a 3-0 lead after three.
Kellogg worked through two and 2/3 innings with three strikeouts. He also gave up two runs on three hits and later the left the game with two outs in the fourth.
Relievers Kyle Miller, Jordan Minch, Ryan Berg and Marc Huberman followed Kellogg and all combined to hold Carolina scoreless the rest of the way.
Luke Barker and Parker Berberet worked the final three frames after Medeiros’ quality start. Barker allowed a run and two hits in the eighth, but escaped without any further damage in his finale appearance of the season. Berberet worked through the final two innings and struck out three while earning his first save of the season.
Following the game, the Mudcats front office recognized Jake Gatewood and Cody Ponce as the 2017 Willie Duke and Ed Hales award winners. The Willie Duke award is presented annually to the Mudcats’ players who best symbolizes the spirit and dedication to baseball exhibited by Willie Duke. Known as “Mr. Baseball” for his tireless efforts promoting the game. The Ed Hales award is awarded annually in recognition of the players who best exemplifies unselfish spirit, dedication and commitment to the community.