Whitetails mash Muddogs 14-5 in Old North State play

Posted 7/26/19

RAMSEUR — The Piedmont Whitetails blistered Deep River pitching for 13 hits while capitalizing on 10 walks as they enjoyed one of their best offensive nights of the season to collar the Muddogs …

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Whitetails mash Muddogs 14-5 in Old North State play

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RAMSEUR — The Piedmont Whitetails blistered Deep River pitching for 13 hits while capitalizing on 10 walks as they enjoyed one of their best offensive nights of the season to collar the Muddogs 14-5 in an Old North State League matchup Friday evening at I. Fletcher Craven Stadium.

Snapping a six-game losing streak, Piedmont elevated its season record to 7-18, while Deep River slumped to 13-11-1.

In his first appearance of the summer, Whitetails’ starter Mac McCurdy hurled six innings to achieve the win, allowing six hits and a pair of earned runs besides walking three and fanning five.

Piedmont reliever Grey Laspaluto pitched the final frame, giving up three hits and three earned runs while striking out three.

Trevor Fluke, Ethan Lageson, McKenzie Marco and Laspaluto all registered two safeties apiece for the Whitetails, with all nine starters collecting at least one hit.

“McCurdy threw well, located his spots and worked his way out of jams when he needed to,” said Piedmont coach Christian Snider, noting the Muddogs had at least one base runner every inning. “We saw the ball well tonight, and once the hits started coming you could see our confidence improve at the plate, while Deep River helped us out when their pitchers weren’t able to locate the strike zone.”

Isaiah Ortega started on the mound for the Muddogs and took the loss after surrendering six hits and four earned runs in addition to talking four and whiffing two over three and one-third innings.

After Nathan Cockman tossed one and two-third innings of hitless relief while issuing one free pass and fanning two, Clay Richardson was tagged for four hits and eight runs (seven earned) besides walking five over one-plus innings before Easton Jones came on to close out the last frame and gave up three hits along with a pair of earned runs while striking out two.

Jones, Cade Culberson and Rafy Ortega each notched two hits to lead Deep River at the plate.

“I really don’t have much to say,” said Muddogs’ coach Michael Milian. “We just didn’t come to play tonight. We watched too many fastballs for strikes, while we ran out of pitchers with our fourth game in four days and had to finish the evening with a couple of position players on the mound.”

The Whitetails opened up a 3-0 advantage in the top of the third as Laspaluto coaxed a full-count free pass with two away and went to third when Lageson slugged an opposite-field double to left-center.

Fluke proceeded to drive in both runners with an opposite-field triple off the left field fence prior to scoring on Marco’s infield single.

Deep River answered with a run in its half of the frame as Noah Handy drew a one-out full-count walk, stole second with two away and came in to score when Richardson stroked a double into the left field corner.

Piedmont increased its lead to 4-1 in the visitors’ fourth as Noah Howard slammed a leadoff double up the gap in left-center, moved to third on a groundout and tallied when Buster Feland slapped a base hit to center.

The Whitetails extended their advantage to 6-1 in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with no outs when Feland reached on a throwing error, Matthew Bryant scratched an infield hit and Laspaluto received a full-count walk before Lageson grounded a two-run single to right.

The Muddogs narrowed the difference to 6-2 in their portion of the sixth as leadoff batter Ryan Hill smashed an opposite-field triple to right and scored one out later when Culberson blooped a base hit to left.

Piedmont then sent a dozen batters to the plate in the visitor’s seventh and tallied eight runs to turn the contest into a rout.

Walks to Howard and Feland sandwiched around Tre’vonn Johnson’s opposite-field single down the right field line filled the sacks with no outs prior to a free pass issued to Bryant, Laspaluto’s bloop single to left and a walk to Lageson producing the first three runs of the inning.

After Fluke plated a pair of runs with a double up the alley in left-center, Marco followed with a two-run single to center, and before the frame was over Howard would bring in the eighth run with a sacrifice fly to right.

But Deep River refused to go down without battling until the end. After Handy was hit by a pitch leading off the bottom of the seventh, he advanced to second on a wild pitch prior to scoring when Jones lined a base hit to left.

Two outs later Jordan Cassell was nicked by a pitch as Jones went to second before the latter came home on Culberson’s single to center that moved courtesy runner Eric Cheek to second.

Rafy Ortega then singled to left to bring in Cheek with the night’s final run.


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