08/21/06 — Mudcats top first-place Smokies

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Mudcats top first-place Smokies

Published in Sports on August 21, 2006 2:24 PM

ZEBULON -- A bunt single was the only hit Carolina needed during a five-run seventh inning as the Mudcats returned home to defeat first-place Tennessee 9-5 on Sunday afternoon before 5,386 fans at Five County Stadium.

The Mudcats (23-33) sent 10 hitters to the plate, two were hit, three walked, one reached on an error, coupled with an early-inning bunt single by Rex Rundgren aided Carolina's come-from-behind victory.

Carolina had built a 4-0 lead after two innings, but gave it all back by the sixth when Tennessee scored three times against James Russ for a 5-4 lead.

Lee Mitchell, who tied a club-record with his 34th double of the season in the eighth inning, hit his first two-bagger of the game in the first inning to score Rundgren, who came home three times in the win.

The Mudcats pushed across three two-out runs in the second against former Mudcat starter Bill Murphy. Rundgren doubled home a run, followed by a two-run groundball double by Jose Campusano.

In total, the Mudcats had six doubles of their 10 hits.

Scott Nestor (1-0) earned the win on his 22nd birthday, with Christopher Young pitching the final two innings.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak, and a six-game drag against the Smokies (32-24), who remained 1/2 game ahead of second place Huntsville, which also lost on Sunday. The Mudcats pulled to within nine of the Smokies with 14 games remaining in the regular season.

Manu Olivera starts the series' second game today at 7:15 p.m.