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FAYETTEVILLE — The struggles of the Carolina Mudcats continued over the weekend as the Advanced A-Carolina League affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers lost twice to the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, extending Carolina’s losing streak to a season-longest six games.
The Mudcats couldn’t hold an early lead in a 4-2 loss Saturday at Segra Stadium, then were victimized by a five-run fifth inning by the Woodpeckers in Sunday’s 7-2 loss. Carolina, now 55-52 overall, dropped to 16-21 and in last place in the Southern Division in the second half. Fayetteville (19-18 second half, 51-56) claimed its first series win and sweep against the Mudcats.
Carolina took the early lead again Sunday on Zach Clark’s second-inning single that scored Mario Feliciano. However, the Woodpeckers went to work in the home half of the fifth, chasing Mudcats starting pitcher Max Hardy on a solo home run by Jeremy Pena, followed by singles off the bats of Jonathan Arau and Jacob Meyers. Hardy (7-2) exited after getting the second out and his replacement, Cody Beckman, made matters worse almost immediately. Beckman walked consecutive batters, the second forcing in a run, before giving up a three-run double to Scott Manea to break open the game.
Eddie Silva doubled in a run for Carolina in the top of the eighth but Fayetteville answered with two more runs in the bottom of the inning. Feliciano and Wes Rogers each had a couple of hits for Carolina, which totaled seven hits and left nine runners on base.
In Saturday’s game, shortstop Brice Turang got things going for the Mudcats from the outset as he led off the game with a walk then stole second and third before scoring on a wild pitch. Carolina took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on Silva’s RBI groundout but that would be all the scoring for the Mudcats.
The Woodpeckers chased Carolina starter Matt Smith with a pair of two-out runs in the fifth to tie the score. Fayetteville took the lead on Enmanuel Valdez’s solo homer off Mudcats reliever J.T. Hintzen (0-1) in the seventh. Chad Taylor ripped another solo homer for the Woodpeckers in the eighth.
Fayetteville had 11 hits to just four for the Mudcats, who haven’t scored more than two runs in a game since July 21.
Carolina gets Monday off then starts a three-game home stand Tuesday evening at Five County Stadium against Southern Division leader and first-half winner, the Down East Wood Ducks.