07/26/06 — Mudcats blow lead, then lose game

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Mudcats blow lead, then lose game

Published in Sports on July 26, 2006 2:12 PM

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. -- Jesus Cota blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the 11th inning to send Tennessee past Carolina 10-9 in the Mudcats' highest-scoring and longest game of the season at Smokies Park on Tuesday night.

Carolina (12-20) blew a 6-0 lead after 21/2 innings when the Smokies (18-14) finally caught the Mudcats with two runs in the eighth, denying Paul Mildren's bid to win his 10th game.

The two teams combined for six homers, including solo shots from Ryan Bear and Brett Carroll one hitter apart in the third inning as Carolina built a 6-0 lead in an affair that would last a season-long four hours and three minutes.

Mildren, who had a string of 11 consecutive quality starts snapped when he allowed six runs over 61/3 innings, drove in a career-high three with a double and infield single.

Cota, who homered in the eighth against reliever Matt Yourkin to trim Carolina's lead to 8-7, slugged a 1-2 slider from Scott Tyler (1-1) with one out in the 11th for the win. Rex Rundgren's third hit of the game sent the Mudcats ahead in the top of the inning, dropping in a single to center to score Carroll from second base.

Carolina trails the season series with the Smokies 15-7, including sporting a 2-10 record at Smokies Park.

In a scary moment, Mudcats' outfielder Jose Campusano left the game in the fourth inning after being hit in the helmet by a Garrett Mock fastball. Campusano, who never lost consciousness, walked off the field under his own power and was replaced by Frank Moore.

Trevor Hutchinson (0-2, 9.90) starts the third game of the set today against Ross Ohlendorf (7-6, 3.05) at 7:15 p.m.