Zebulon – Lucas Erceg combined to go 3-for-6 with a three-run home run and four RBIs, Luis Aviles hit a two-run home run off Carlos Rodon and Weston Wilson was 2-for-3 with a two-run double as the Mudcats swept the Dash 6-3 and 4-3 in Tuesday’s doubleheader at Five County Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Mudcats (32-26) totaled five extra base hits, including Aviles’ home run and doubles by Erceg, Troy Stokes Jr. and Wilson in game one of the doubleheader. Erceg also had a three-run home run in the game two and is now batting .371/.389/.543 (3 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI) over his last nine games.
Carolina finished a series sweep of the Dash (19-40) after taking both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader. The Mudcats are now 9-1 overall versus the Dash this season, including a perfect 7-0 record against them in Zebulon. The Carolina victory was their third straight and kept them two back of first place Myrtle Beach in the first half standings.
Rehabbing big leaguer Carlos Rodon started for the Dash (19-40) in game one and took the loss after allowing five runs on four hits over three and 1/3 innings. Rodon (0-1, 13.50) also struck out six, walked two, allowed one home run and threw 71 pitches (43 strikes) in his first rehab appearance for Winston-Salem.
Trey Supak started for Carolina in game one and earned his first Carolina League victory after holding the Dash to just two runs and two hits over five innings pitched. He also walked three and struck out five.
Supak (1-0, 6.00) held the Dash without a hit through four and earned the win in his first home start for the Mudcats. He worked around two walks in the first while closing the frame with a 1-6-3 double play. He also finished the second with a double play flown into by Johan Cruz and pitched through a quick third before eventually walking one during a scoreless fourth. He eventually allowed a leadoff double in the fifth and gave up two runs in the frame before leaving the game.
Supak pitched through five and allowed just two runs on two hits and struck out five. He also walked three, with all three occurring over the first two frames, and threw 90 pitches (56 strikes) in the victory for Carolina.
Rodon opened his rehab start with three straight strikeouts in the first and did so with just 10 pitches. He struck out Corey Ray on three straight to start the game and then did the same to Troy Stokes Jr. before eventually needing four pitches to retire Isan Diaz.
Rodon struck out the side in the first, but the Mudcats bounced back by collecting three hits and scoring three runs in the second to take a 3-0 lead. They also scored a run in the third and added two more in the fourth and led 6-0 before the Dash eventually scored twice in the fifth and once more in the sixth.
Jake Gatewood started the second inning with a leadoff single and scored from first moments later on a double to center by Lucas Erceg. Luis Aviles then followed with a two-run home run to left and the Mudcats led 3-0 after two.
Carolina later took a 4-0 lead after Troy Stokes Jr. brought in Corey Ray from second with a hustle RBI double to left in the third. Weston Wilson had Carolina’s big hit in the fourth as he drove in both Trent Clark and Max McDowell with a two-run, two-out double to right-center.
The Dash trailed 6-0 heading into the fifth of game one, but score twice in the fifth and once more in the sixth against Supak and reliever Brad Kuntz (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO). Louis Silverio doubled and scored a run in the fifth and was 1-for-2 in game one. Jake Fincher hit an inside-the-park home run off Supak in the fifth and Danny Mendick later drove in a run off Kuntz in the seventh with a two-out RBI single.
Like Supak in game one, Marcos Diplan (4-2, 5.03) also pitched through the fifth in the game two start for the Mudcats. He struck out seven, walked two and allowed three runs on six hits while earning his second straight victory.
Dane Dunning (2-1, 3.86) started game two for the Dash and took the tough luck loss after striking out 11 and allowing four unearned runs over five innings pitched. He also recorded nine of his 11 strikeouts over the first three innings of game two.
Dunning’s first major mistake in the game came in the first when he gave up a three-run home run to Erceg with two-outs in the opening frame. The home run was Erceg’s second off Dunning this season and his sixth overall this season.
Dunning also lost a 3-3 tie in the fifth after allowing Carlos Belonis to score from second on a wild pitch. Belonis was 1-for-2 in the doubleheader with the eventual game-winning run and an assist at home back in the second.
The Dash did originally lead first in game two after getting a run across against Diplan in the opening frame on a RBI double by Zack Collins. A fielding error by Isan Diaz in the second scored Winston-Salem’s second run of the game and a RBI triple from Landon Lassiter in the fourth brought in their third to tie it in the fourth.
Winston-Salem was later held scoreless in the sixth by Wuilder Rodriguez and eventually left two on in the seventh as Nate Griep closed the game. Griep (S, 12) walked two, but eventually converted his tenth consecutive save while raising his season total to a league best 12 saves this year.