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O’Rae & Nicasia Lead Mudcats in Home Finale Victory

The first-place Mudcats lowered their magic number to four with Sunday’s home finale victory
Dylan O'Rae - Carolina Mudcats (Credit: Neal Hock)
September 3, 2023

Down East Wood Ducks 2 @ Carolina Mudcats 7 Sept. 3, 2023 | Venue: Five County Stadium | First pitch: 1:00 PM | T: 2:16 | Att: 1,907 | Box Score DE: 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 6 3 CAR: 0 0 1 0 0

Down East Wood Ducks 2 @ Carolina Mudcats 7
Sept. 3, 2023 | Venue: Five County Stadium | First pitch: 1:00 PM | T: 2:16 | Att: 1,907 | Box Score

DE: 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 6 3
CAR: 0 0 1 0 0 5 0 1 x 7 9 0

WP: Jose Chavez (3 - 0) LP: Bryan Chi (2 - 3)

ZEBULON, N.C. – Dylan O’Rae had three hits, Kay-Lan Nicasia drove in three with a two-run triple and RBI double and relievers Jose Chavez, Bayden Root and Blake Whiting combined on four scoreless innings over the last of half of the game as the first-place Carolina Mudcats defeated the Down East Wood Ducks 7-2 in the final 2023 regular season home game at Five County Stadium on Sunday afternoon

The Mudcats (36-24, 69-54) originally led 1-0 in the third after O’Rae drove in Tayden Hall from second with a single to left. O’Rae also singled in the first and later bunted his way on to start a five-run Carolina rally in the sixth while going 3-for-4 with a run and one RBI.

The Wood Ducks (27-33, 64-57) briefly took a 2-1 lead in the fifth after scoring twice against Carolina’s starter Will Childers, but the Mudcats rallied back quickly in the sixth and went on to run away with the series finale, and series clinching 7-2 victory.

Carolina’s five-run sixth started with O’Rae’s bunt hit and continued with a botched double play that saw two Down East throwing errors. O’Rae later scored on a Jesus Chirinos sac fly to tie the game and Jadher Areinamo, who reached on the botched double play, scored the go-ahead on a Jose Sibrian double. Carolina then extended the lead with a sac fly from Juan Baez and Nicasia’s two-run triple. Nicasia also doubled in a run in the eighth while going 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and three RBI.

Reliever Bryan Chi allowed all five Carolina runs in the sixth, but only one of those five ended up being earned. Chi (L, 2-3) went on to pitch into the eighth and took the loss after allowing six runs and two earned over three and 2/3 innings. Brock Porter started and went through four with one run, three hits and four strikeouts.

Childers started for Carolina and finished without a decision despite going five solid innings with just two runs allowed on five hits. He lost Carolina’s 1-0 lead in his fifth and final inning and also finished with three walks and three strikeouts.

Chavez (W, 3-0), Root and Whiting combined on the final four innings of the game with Chavez earning the victory with two scoreless frames. Chavez also struck out two and walked one while facing one over the minimum in his two frames. Root struck out three of four faced in the eighth and Whiting finished it with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth.

The victory clinched a 4-2 series win for Carolina over the Wood Ducks and lifted the Mudcats to a 7-5 mark over their final two homestands of the 2023 season.

The victory also kept the first-place Mudcats up 3.0 games on the Lynchburg Hillcats and 4.5 games over the Fredericksburg Nationals in the Carolina League second half standings.

The Mudcats will finish the 2023 regular season schedule with six games in Salem beginning on Tuesday.

Carolina’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is four.

Down East: Blackmon (28, 2nd base off Childers/Sibrian); Villarroel 2 (18, 2nd base off Childers/Sibrian, 2nd base off Root/Sibrian).
Carolina: Baez, J (1, 2nd base off Chi/Moller); Areinamo (14, 3rd base off Chi/Moller).

Blackmon, CF (Down East): 1-for-3, 2 RBI, 1 BB
O'Rae, CF (Carolina): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
Nicasia, RF (Carolina): 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 BB
Sibrian, C (Carolina): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI

Porter (Down East): 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO
Childers (Carolina): 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO
Chavez, J (W, 3-0) (Carolina): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO
Root (Carolina): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
Whiting (Carolina): 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Mudcats 3rd (Mudcats 1, Wood Ducks 0) -- Juan Baez lines out to Tommy Specht. Tayden Hall singles to center field. Kay-Lan Nicasia walks, Tayden Hall to 2nd. Daniel Guilarte strikes out swinging. Dylan O'Rae singles to left-center field, Tayden Hall scores; Kay-Lan Nicasia to 3rd; Dylan O'Rae to 2nd. Jadher Areinamo grounds out, Danyer Cueva to Anthony Calarco. (1 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 LOB)

Wood Ducks 5th (Wood Ducks 2, Mudcats 1) -- Danyer Cueva singles to center field. Tommy Specht singles to right field, Danyer Cueva to 3rd. Anthony Calarco strikes out swinging. Quincy Scott walks, Tommy Specht to 2nd. JoJo Blackmon singles through the hole at second base, Danyer Cueva scores; Tommy Specht scores; Quincy Scott to 3rd. Gleider Figuereo pops out to Jadher Areinamo in foul territory. Miguel Villarroel lines out to Tayden Hall. (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors, 2 LOB)

Mudcats 6th (Mudcats 6, Wood Ducks 2) -- Dylan O'Rae bunt singles to shallow left field. Jadher Areinamo reaches on a fielder's choice, fielded by Gleider Figuereo. Jadher Areinamo advances to 2nd on throwing error by Gleider Figuereo. Jadher Areinamo advances to 2nd on throwing error by Tommy Specht. Jesus Chirinos out on a sacrifice fly to JoJo Blackmon, Dylan O'Rae scores; Jadher Areinamo to 3rd. Luke Adams walks. Jose Sibrian doubles through the hole at shortstop, Jadher Areinamo scores; Luke Adams to 3rd. Juan Baez out on a sacrifice fly to JoJo Blackmon, Luke Adams scores. Tayden Hall walks. Offensive Substitution: Pinch runner Reidy Mercado replaces Tayden Hall. Kay-Lan Nicasia triples to right-center field, Jose Sibrian scores; Reidy Mercado scores. Daniel Guilarte struck out looking. (5 Runs, 3 Hits, 2 Errors, 1 LOB)

Mudcats 8th (Mudcats 7, Wood Ducks 2) -- Jose Sibrian grounds out, Gleider Figuereo to Anthony Calarco. Juan Baez singles to right field. Reidy Mercado flies out to Tommy Specht. Kay-Lan Nicasia doubles to right field, Juan Baez scores. Pitcher Change: Damian Mendoza replaces Bryan Chi. Daniel Guilarte grounds out, Gleider Figuereo to Anthony Calarco. (1 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB)