Mudcats earn home sweep of Columbia, Spring Hill
The Middle Tennessee Mudcats continued their winning ways Monday night in Chapel Hill, coming away with a pair of tight wins, beginning with a 6-4 victory over Columbia, followed by a dramatic 9-8 last-inning triumph versus Spring Hill.
MUDCATS 6, COLUMBIA 4
The Mudcats (8-5-1) fell behind 1-0 in the first inning of the late afternoon contest versus Columbia as Hayden Dodson walked with one out, stole second, and went to third on a passed ball before scoring on an RBI base hit by Terrance Seaton.
The Mudcats answered in a hurry, picking up three runs in the bottom of the first inning, helped out by a couple of Columbia errors and a solo home run by Boone Sweeney.
Winning pitcher Cain Harrison, who hurled six tough innings on the mound for the Mudcats, held Columbia in check in the second before his teammates put up a deuce on the scorebook in the home half of the frame.
Logan Hollingsworth singed to lead off the inning and Jonathon Lykins followed with a base on balls before Columbia got the first out on a pop-up.
The Mudcats executed a double steal and Hollingsworth raced home on the next pitch that went to the backstop, making it 4-1.
Brewer walked to load the bases, putting Middle Tennessee runners on the corners.
Brewer would steal second base and Lykins made it a 5-1 contest when he slid under a tag, scoring on a passed ball.
There was no scoring in the fourth, but Columbia came up with a single tally in the top of the fourth on an RBI double by Cade Bowden.
Columbia closes in
The Mudcats left the bases juiced in the bottom of the inning and Harrison got in trouble in the top of the fifth as Jackson Cook and Dodson banged back-to-back singles, leading off the stanza.
After a bunt moved both Columbia runners up, Seaton banged a ground rule double, making it a one-run game at 5-4.
Harrison got some defensive help from his teammates as Ryan Yelensky made a running catch in right field for out No. 2 and the inning ended when Hollingsworth gunned down Seaton at the plate, trying to score on a base hit by J.D. Davis.
The Mudcats tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI base knock by Sweeney and Bryce Oliver came to the hill in relief of Harrison in the seventh.
After getting the first two outs, Seaton walked and Jonathon Harris came up with a single, but Oliver ended the game in style, whiffing Davis looking to earn the save.
Harrison gave up three earned runs on 10 hits, while walking four and striking out two Columbia batters.
The Mudcats had seven hits in the contest with Sweeney (2-4, RS, HR, RBI), Austin Welty (2-4, 2RS), and Hollingsworth (2-2, RS, BB, SB, two outfield assists) all had two hits, while Brewer (1-3, RS, BB, SB) had one base knock.
Lykins scored a run, stole a base, and walked for the Mudcats, who watched Columbia and Spring Hill play before taking the field versus the Raiders in the nightcap of the triple-header.
MUDCATS 9, SPRING HILL 8
The Mudcats pounced on Spring Hill, taking a 7-0 lead after the first four innings, scoring a pair of runs in the second and third innings and a three-spot in the fourth.
Garvin started on the mound for the 'Cats and tossed four shutout innings before giving way to Lane Allen in the fifth inning.
The Spring Hill bats heated up on Allen, who gave up six runs on five hits in the top of the fifth, as the Mudcats' lead was sliced to a single run at 7-6.
Middle Tennessee got one run right back in the bottom of the inning when Yelensky singled with one out before coming home on an RBI double by Slayton Wild.
Oliver came to the hill in the top of sixth and Spring Hill completed the comeback, tying the game on RBIs by Zach Harrison and John Hunter.
The Mudcats went down 1-2-3 in the home half of the sixth and Oliver held serve in the top of the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, Dustin Brasher walked to lead off the frame and advanced to second on a wild pitch before Lykins also drew a base on balls.
Lucas Welch stepped in and stepped up, ripping the game-winning RBI single to right field, giving the Mudcats the one-run victory.
Wild (2-3, 3RBIs, two doubles) had two hits for the Mudcats, while Yelensky (1-3, RS, SB), Garvin (1-2, RS, 2B), Brashear (1-1, 2RS, BB, SB), and Welch (1-3, RBI) all had one hit for Middle Tennessee.
Oliver went 1-2 at the plate with two runs scored, a base on balls, and two stolen bases, while picking up the win on the hill.