RAMSEUR — Easton Jones belted a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to give Deep River the lead for good before Cade Culberson drove in an insurance run with his second triple of the evening as …
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RAMSEUR — Easton Jones belted a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to give Deep River the lead for good before Cade Culberson drove in an insurance run with his second triple of the evening as the Muddogs outlasted the Randolph Lumberkings 8-5 in an Old North State League extra-inning affair Friday night at I. Fletcher Craven Stadium.
Capturing its fourth triumph in its last five outings, Deep River improved to 10-9-1 in the league standings, while Randolph slipped to 13-6-1.
Parker Clayton, the fifth Muddogs’ pitcher of the night, recorded the win after tossing two scoreless innings, striking out one.
Ryan Hill started on the mound for Deep River and went three and two-third innings, allowing two hits plus one earned run while walking four and fanning four.
Reliever Jordan Moss threw two-thirds of an inning, giving up three hits and four earned runs besides issuing one free pass. Rafy Ortega, Culberson and Clayton hurled hitless ball over the final four and two-third innings, yielding a combined five walks with one strikeout.
“I’m proud how our guys never gave up and found a way to rally for a win against one of the league’s top teams,” said Muddogs’ coach Michael Milian. “Our last three relievers did a great job against a team that can smash the ball, holding them hitless over the last four and two-third innings. After struggling at the plate early, Easton Jones delivered a big home run to put us in front to stay, while Cade Culberson continues to have a hot bat, going three-for-five at the plate with a pair of triples and two RBIs.”
Kyle Ehlers, who relieved Lumberkings’ starter Claytin Beaver with two away in the top of the fifth, sustained the loss after being tagged for four hits and three earned runs in addition to walking a pair and whiffing six over four and one-third innings.
Beaver hurled four and two-third innings, surrendering three hits and five earned runs besides issuing seven walks (one intentional) and striking out two.
“Playing our fifth game in three days we were forced to go with position players on the mound,” said Randolph coach Brandon Nelson. “I thought we showed a lot of fight to come back from a 5-1 deficit and send the game into extra inning, and we had a chance to pull out a win in the bottom of the seventh before shooting ourselves in the foot.”
The Lumberkings plated a solo run in the home fourth to snap a scoreless tie as Tyler Shelton singled up the middle with two away and advanced all the way to third on a wild pitch prior to tallying on Lino Figueroa’s bloop hit to left.
Deep River answered with a five-run outburst in the top of the fifth as Trevohn Jeffery coaxed a full-count leadoff walk and moved to second when Noah Handy grounded a single to left.
Walter Parham’s opposite-field double into the right field corner scored Jeffery and sent Handy to third. Following an intentional walk to Clayton that loaded the bases, Handy raced home one out later on a wild pitch that advanced the other two runners up a base before Parham dashed home on a wild pitch that moved Clayton to third.
Clay Richardson then drew a walk and stole second prior to Clayton scoring on a throwing error that advanced Richardson to third before the latter tallied when Culberson lined a two-out single to right.
But Randolph rallied to pull even in the bottom half of the frame as Nate Vargo stroked a leadoff double up the gap in left-center and went to third on a wild pitch prior to Nick Roets receiving a free pass.
Ehlers then blooped a base hit down the right field line to score Vargo and move Roets to second before Beaver plated the latter with a single up the alley in left-center that advanced Ehlers to second.
After both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, Justin St. Amour reached on a fielder’s choice that brought in Ehlers, with St. Amour continuing to second as Beaver was thrown out at third.
St. Amour proceeded to steal third prior to coming home when Justin Wernowski lofted a sacrifice fly to right-center.
The two teams then put goose eggs on the board over the next three innings before Clayton smashed a one-out opposite-field double to left with one away in the top of the ninth and Jones followed by slamming a 2-1 offering from Ehlers over the left field fence for his fourth home run of the season.
Richardson then drew a full-count walk and came in to score one out later when Culberson blasted a triple up the gap in right-center to account for the final margin.