Carolina rallies in ninth
Published in Sports on May 30, 2006 2:26 PM
SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. -- Carolina scored five runs in the ninth inning to rally past Tennessee 6-4 on Monday night at Smokies Park.
J.C. Muniz and Kevin Randel highlighted the comeback with back-to-back homers in the ninth to tie the game against Matt Wilkinson. Ryan Bear then delivered the tie-breaking RBI-double, followed by an infield single by Edgar Gonzalez to plate the final run.
The Mudcats (26-26) were held hitless until the seventh inning by Tennessee starter Garrett Mock before Gonzalez lined a single to left center.
The game was marred by controversy as Mudcats manager Luis Dorante was ejected in the fourth inning, disputing a call by the first base umpire on a Miguel Montero bouncing ball. Montero appeared to have bounced an Anibal Sanchez pitch against the plate, which spun into the field of play.
Montero ran toward first, with the home plate umpire recognizing a fair ball, but the first base umpire called the ball deflected against Montero's foot. The ball was not checked for a shoe mark, nor was an appeal asked for.
In the ninth, Randel's pinch-hit, game-tying home run was ruled as hitting off of the protective screen beyond the left field wall, although left fielder Alex Frazier and the Smokies (24-28) argued that the ball hit against the top of the padded wall and caromed back into the outfield.
Randel had slid head first into second base as the umpire twirled his finger to indicate a home run. Randel arose and sprinted from second to home with the tying run.
Sanchez fanned nine hitters for the second straight start, working seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits. Chris Mobley (1-2) earned his first Double-A win by recording the final out of the eighth, while Kevin Cave notched his third save of the current roadswing.
Carolina snapped an 0-for-19 skid when trailing after the eighth inning.
Tennessee took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on a two-run homer by Jerry Gil, then Danny Richar circled the bases on an inside-the-park homer in the fifth.
The Mudcats pushed across their first run in the eighth on a single by Bear, which brought in Alejandro DeAza to cut the deficit to 3-1. Tennessee scored an unearned run in the bottom half for a 4-1 lead.
Paul Mildren (3-4, 4.29) starts tonight for Carolina against Steven Jackson (1-3, 2.55). Game time is 7:15 p.m.
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