Troy Stokes Jr. was 2-for-4 with a two-run ninth inning double in the loss
Zebulon – Troy Stokes Jr. was 2-for-4 with a two-out, two-run double in the ninth, but the late rally was not enough as the Mudcats went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 men on base in a 4-2 loss to the Potomac Nationals on Thursday night at Five County Stadium.
The visiting Nationals (32-35) led from start to finish in Thursday’s series opener after getting two runs over the first two frames and then two more in the fifth on a two-out single from Rhett Wiseman.
Kodi Medeiros started for the Mudcats (34-31) and allowed all four Potomac runs over four and 2/3 innings. Medeiros (3-5, 5.27) also walked three, hit a batter and struck out five in the loss.
Jordan Yamamoto followed Medeiros and pitched through four and 1/3 scoreless, but allowed two inherited runners to score in the fifth. Yamamoto walked four and struck out two.
Taylor Guilbeau (1-0, 4.55) earned the victory after holding the Mudcats scoreless over five innings. Guilbeau scattered six hits, walked one, struck out three and needed 69 pitches (48 strikes) to get through five frames against the Mudcats.
Medeiros started the night by hitting leadoff man Victor Robles with a two-strike pitch in the first before allowing a two-out run scoring double to Dale Carey later in the opening frame. Robles later had a two-out run-scoring hit in the second to put the P-Nats up 2-0 early in the game. Robles left the game with an injury in the second and was 1-for-1 with a run and RBI for the Nationals.
The Nationals led 2-0 through the fourth before eventually getting a two-out, two-run single from Wiseman off Yamamoto in the fifth. Medeiros originally started the fifth with back-to-back outs before walking two straight and then departing from the game. Yamamoto followed and went on to walk one before giving up Wiseman’s run scoring hit.
The Mudcats left six men on base over the first five innings against Guilbeau and left the bases loaded in the seventh against reliever Kyle Schepel. They did score twice in the ninth off reliever Gilberto Mendez, but finished with 10 men left on base while going 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position in the loss. The Nationals, meanwhile, left 13 men on base and were 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
Stokes had a two-run double with two-outs in the ninth off Mendez, but was left at second after Isan Diaz struck out looking to end the game. Stokes was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Corey Ray, Lucas Erceg and Carlos Belonis also had multi-hit games for the Mudcats in the loss. Ray was 2-for-4, Erceg was 2-for-4 and Belonis was 3-for-4 for Carolina in game one of the four game set.
The two teams combined to score six two-out runs in Thursday’s series opener.
The series continues tonight (Friday) at Five County Stadium with post-game fireworks. Cody Ponce (5-5, 3.70) has the start for the Mudcats in game two of the four game series.