West Tenn defense hooks Mudcats
By Steve Roush
Published in Sports on May 24, 2006 2:14 PM
JACKSON, Tenn. -- Scott Moore stole away three would-be doubles at third base to preserve a 3-1 West Tenn victory over Carolina in the series opener Tuesday night at Pringles Park.
Moore's defense prevented at least two runs from scoring in the early innings, then watched J.R. Mathes (5-3) cruise through six innings for his staff-leading fifth victory.
The Mudcats (22-24) managed just one run against three Diamond Jaxx pitchers in their first meeting of the regular season. Edgar Gonzalez drove in Carolina's run in the fourth, sending a hard grounder down the third base line which was stopped on a dive by Moore with runners at first and third. Moore converted that into a force out to keep West Tenn with a 3-1 lead. Moore took away a Rex Rundgren smash in the second with Gonzalez at third base, then took away a leadoff double by Patrick Arlis in the third.
Carolina still harbored hope in the ninth when Angel Molina and Rundgren opened the inning with singles to right against closer Clay Rapada. However, Arlis' bunt attempt near the first base line was caught on a Rapada dive, then pinch-hitter Kevin Randel bounced into a game-ending double play, Carolina's third of the night.
James Russ (2-4) suffered the defeat, allowing three runs and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings. Matt Blank pitched the final 2 1/3 innings in scoreless fashion.
Ryan Bear had a pair of doubles to pace the Mudcats offense, while Gonzalez was 2-for-4 with a triple. Alejandro DeAza pulled up lame running out a fifth inning double play. DeAza left the game with an apparent hamstring injury.
Anibal Sanchez (2-4, 3.80) starts for Carolina today against Carlos Marmol (3-2, 2.42) at 8:05 p.m.
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