augusta free press news

Carolina Mudcats break open tight game, smash Salem, 11-3

salem red soxA tight game through six innings became a laugher late, as Carolina dismantled Salem down the stretch in an 11-3 Mudcats victory, snapping the Red Sox’ three-game winning streak. Luigi Rodriguez went 4-for-6 to lead the visitors, while Erik Gonzalez and Anthony Gallas each recorded three hits apiece. The Mudcats were up 4-3 heading to the seventh, but Salem made four errors in the final three frames, sloppily giving Carolina plenty of chances to build a substantial lead.
With the game tied 1-1 after two, the Mudcats took a lead they would not relinquish in the third. Rodriguez led off with a solo homer against Sox starter Corey Littrell, who walked four of the next seven hitters and did not make it out of the third inning. Jeremy Lucas smacked an RBI single and James Roberts drew a bases loaded walk to give Carolina a 4-1 lead after three innings.
Salem’s bottom of the order triggered a rally in the fourth, with Aneury Tavarez, Kevin Mager, and Dreily Guerrero all singling to start the frame. The Sox scored a pair to inch within one, but missed a chance to tie as Jonathan Roof lined into an inning-ending double play.
The Mudcats added one run in the seventh, but did most of their damage in the eighth, batting around and producing five runs. Gallas smoked a two-run double, his third two-bagger of the night, and the Red Sox made back-to-back errors in the infield to exacerbate the trouble.
Michael Peoples earned the win for Carolina, striking out eight in six strong innings, permitting three runs. Littrell suffered the loss, working a season-low two and two-thirds and walking six with no strikeouts.
The Mudcats registered a new season high with 15 hits, while Red Sox pitchers only struck out one Carolina batter in the game, a season low. Reed Gragnani went 2-for-4 for Salem, delivering his 13th multi-hit effort of the year and raising his average to .385.
The four-game series concludes on Sunday with a Mother’s Day matinee at LewisGale Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05, with Salem’s Pat Light slated to start against Carolina’s Ryan Merritt.