Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
ZEBULON — With the use of the long ball, the Carolina Mudcats won their third straight contest Friday night, erasing a seventh-inning deficit and defeating the Salem Red Sox 6-4 in the opening game of a three-game Advanced-A Carolina League series at Five County Stadium.
Tristen Lutz hit a three-run homer, his 13th of the year, to give the Mudcats the lead in improving to 60-57 overall and 21-27 in the second half of the Carolina League season. Mario Feliciano, who tied it at 3 prior to Lutz’s three-run shot, hit his league-leading 19th homer in the third inning. Salem (51-63, 26-21 second half) added a run in the fourth, but the Mudcats responded with an unearned run to pull within one in the fifth.
Zach Schellenger took the loss in relief for Salem, working just two-thirds of an inning. After giving up the go-ahead homer to Lutz, Schellenger hit Payton Henry with a pitch and was ejected, with Red Sox manager Corey Wimberly following shortly thereafter.
J.T. Hintzen was credited with the win for Carolina in following starter Christian Taugner. Hintzen gave up a solo home run in the eighth that served as the only hit allowed in two innings of work.
Anthony Bender tossed the ninth to collect his third save of the season.
Feliciano was the only Mudcat with more than one hit, going 3 for 5 with a double and his solo home run. In the process, he collected RBIs 77 and 78, adding to his Carolina League-leading total.
Carolina was outhit by an 8-6 margin.
The series continues Saturday at 5 p.m.