By Steve Roush
Published in Sports on April 13, 2006 2:04 PM
Chattanooga, Tenn. -- A four-run fifth inning propelled Chattanooga past Carolina on Wednesday afternoon at Bell South Park.
The Mudcats squandered a two-run lead for the second straight game, falling one game under .500 on their 10-game, season-opening road trip.
Carolina went ahead 1-0 in the first when Angel Molina hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Jose Campusano from third, then Kevin Randel hit his first Double-A homer in the fourth against Travis Chick for a 2-0 lead.
After sailing through the first four innings, Carolina starter Adam Bostick threw 36 of his 84 pitches in the fifth. An 11-pitch duel with leadoff hitter Ryan Hanigan resulted in a walk, followed by a double from Luis Bolivar moving Hanigan to third. Bostick rallied to strike out Eric Crozier, then faced Lookouts reliever John Coutlangus.
Coutlangus, who spend a little more than a year as an outfielder in the San Francisco Giants system, along with patrolling the outfield at the University of South Carolina, cracked his bat on a swing, rolling a grounder near third where Michael Tucker was unable to throw out the speedy pitcher running up the line to score a run.
Bostick then fanned former major leaguer Alex Sanchez, but then walked Noochie Varner to fill the bases. Joey Votto then clubbed a drive toward the left-centerfield alley with Alejandro DeAza chasing from center. DeAza raced back, slowed down on his approach preparing to make the catch, but dropped the flyball for an error, permitting three runs to score as the Lookouts went ahead 4-2. Bostick was relieved by newcomer Christopher Young, who made his Mudcats debut by fanning Aaron Herr to end the inning.
Carolina's last shot came in the seventh, filling the bases with none out thanks to a pair of Lookouts errors and a single by Rex Rundgren. However, reliever Brad Salmon whiffed Jonathan Aceves, pinch-hitter Lee Mitchell and Campusano to end the inning.
David Shafer registered his league-leading third save by working a scoreless ninth inning.
Each team had just four hits in the game.
James Russ (1-0, 0.00) will start the middle game of the series tonight at 7:15 p.m. against Tyler Pelland (0-0, 5.79).
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