Mudcats complete 6-game sweep of Augusta | The Enterprise
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Mudcats complete 6-game sweep of Augusta

Posted on August 23, 2021

Carolina Mudcats infielder Ashton McGee awaits a pitch during the team’s 15-7 rout of the Augusta GreenJackets on Sunday.

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Carolina Mudcats infielder Ashton McGee awaits a pitch during the team’s 15-7 rout of the Augusta GreenJackets on Sunday.

ZEBULON — Ashton McGee hit his second grand slam of the season, Wes Clarke hit a two-run home run in the sixth, Micah Bello had three hits, Freddy Zamora scored three runs and the Mudcats walked seven times during a five-run seventh while finishing off a sweep of the visiting Augusta GreenJackets with a 15-7 victory on Sunday afternoon at Five-County Stadium.

The sweep was Carolina’s third of the season, as the Mudcats (59-37) swept Kannapolis once in late May and again in mid-July. The home victory was also the team’s 11th straight at Five-County Stadium going back to the previous home stand in early August. The current six-game win streak matches Carolina’s longest such streak of the season.

The Mudcats originally led 2-0 after getting run scoring hits from Micah Bello and Darrien Miller early in the game in the second. That lead, however, disappeared in the fifth when the GreenJackets (40-56) rallied for five runs and three hits to take a 5-2 lead. The Mudcats then went on to score 13 runs over the next three innings while running away with the final game of the series 15-7.

Wes Clarke started Carolina’s rebound in the game with a two-run homer in the sixth. It was his second of the season and cut the Augusta lead to 5-4. The Mudcats then went on to tie and take the lead in the seventh after rallying for five runs during a one hit and seven walk inning.

Bello started the seventh with a single and Darrien Miller would follow with a walk that knocked reliever Austin Smith out of the game. Malcolm Van Buren then entered for Augusta and managed to get Andre Nnebe on strikes to start his appearance. Van Buren (1-3, 18.00) would not, however, record another out as he went on to walk four straight after the strikeout before leaving the game. James Acuna also walked two straight when he took over for Van Buren, giving the Mudcats six consecutive walks in the inning. Four of those ended up forcing in runs, and in all, the Mudcats scored five runs on just one hit and seven walks in the seventh while taking a 9-6 lead.

Carolina had walked just once in the game through the first six innings before walking seven times in the seventh and two more times in the eighth. In all, the Mudcats totaled 11 walks in the game, with six turning directly into runs. Four of the 11 also drove in runs as they came with the bases loaded in the seventh.

Carolina’s 9-6 lead quickly ballooned to 15-6 in the eighth after the Mudcats added on six more runs against Acuna. Zamora drove in the first run by hitting into a fielder’s choice just moments before Alex Binelas drove in another run with a double off the right-centerfield wall. McGee then capped the scoring with a grand slam down the rightfield line to make the eighth a six-run frame.

McGee’s grand slam was his second of the year and his 10th home run overall. The grand slam also accounted for four of his five RBIs on the day, giving him 54 RBIs for the season. The grand slam also stretched Carolina’s franchise record for grand slams in a season to eight.

Robbie Baker (1-0, 5.14) earned the win after allowing just one run and one hit over the sixth and seventh innings. James Meeker pitched the eighth and ninth while earning his second save. Meeker (S, 2) struck out three and allowed an unearned run while closing the game. He was recently signed out of the Frontier League by Milwaukee and had brought a streak of 34 consecutive scoreless innings, all in independent league play, to his time with the Mudcats.

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