08/24/07 — Mudcats postseason hopes dwindling

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Mudcats postseason hopes dwindling

Published in Sports on August 24, 2007 2:58 PM

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Guilder Rodriguez pounded out three hits and drove in four runs, and Huntsville punctured Carolina's postseason aspirations with a 9-6 victory at Joe Davis Stadium on Thursday evening.

Rodriguez, who entered the game with eight RBI in 51 games in 2007, singled in a run in the second, a pair in the third and another in his next at-bat as Huntsville pushed Carolina (29-30) five games behind in the Northern Division race with 11 to play.

The Mudcats had surged from eight games behind before Saturday's win over Mississippi to four behind prior to Thursday's loss. Carolina faces the first-place Stars just once more before traveling to Montgomery then hosting Tennessee to end the regular season.

Blake McGinley (6-8), who entered the game on a run of 14 consecutive scoreless innings, permitted two runs in the second, then was knocked out in the third inning when the Stars scored four two-out runs to capture a 6-5 lead.

Carolina rallied from a 2-0 deficit, scoring five times in the third for the lead, capped by Jai Miller's 13th home run to dead centerfield against starter Steve Hammond. Lee Mitchell had two of the Mudcats' eight hits, raising his average to a team-high .290, joining Eric Riggs at that mark.

The Stars, who amassed just 10 hits over the first three games of the series, pounded out 12 in Thursday's win.

Chris Volstad (2-1, 1.01) starts a virtual must-win game for the Mudcats in the series finale tonight against Goldsboro native and East Carolina graduate Sam Narron (7-7) at 8:05 p.m.