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Mudcats drop last 2 of series vs. Dash

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WINSTON-SALEM — Despite hitting a pair of late home runs, the Carolina Mudcats fell 7-5 to the Winston-Salem Dash in Sunday’s Advanced-A Carolina League series finale at BB&T Park.

The Mudcats, who lost Saturday’s game 6-4, dropped to 57-56 on the season and 18-26 in the second half. Mario Feliciano slugged his league-leading 17th homer for Carolina in the seventh inning and Payton Henry launched his 11th longball of the season in the eighth. But the two solo blasts were too little, too late for Carolina, which saw the Dash (59-48, 21-22) score five runs in the second inning off Mudcats starter Aaron Ashby (2-6).

Carolina picked up three back in the fourth with Feliciano singling in Brice Turang, who led off with a triple, and Rob Henry delivering two more with a single.

After Feliciano’s homer in the top of the seventh cut the Dash lead to 5-4, Winston-Salem answered with two in the bottom of the inning.

The Dash took the early lead in Saturday’s game, jumping on Carolina starter Matt Smith (4-9) for four runs in the first and two more in the second. Winston-Salem starter Konnor Pilkington (3-8) held the Mudcats scoreless until Turang’s two-out, two-run single in the fifth.

Carolina got two more in the eighth on an RBI single by Feliciano and Payton Henry’s sacrifice fly.

The Mudcats took Monday off before starting a three-game series against the Down East Wood Ducks at Grainger Stadium in Kinston on Tuesday evening. Games were scheduled to begin after this week’s edition of The Enterprise went to press.

Christian Taugner turned in a quality start by tossing six innings without a walk, and the Carolina Mudcats scratched out runs in the second and third innings to claim a 2-1 victory over the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark on Friday night.

Taugner, a right-hander, scattered six and struck out four as the Mudcats climbed to 57-54 overall and 18-24 in the second half of the Advanced-A Carolina League season. Winston-Salem dropped to 57-48 in all games, 19-22 during second-half play.

Carolina overcame a first-inning run from the Dash with Pat McInerney’s eighth home run of the season, a solo homer to left field in the second. The Mudcats took the lead for good in the top of the third on Tristen Lutz’s single that scored Mario Feliciano.

Purveyor of 11 hits, Carolina was paced by 3-for-5 efforts from Feliciano and Lutz. Feliciano doubled. Leadoff batter Zach Clark went 2 for 5.

For Winston-Salem, Steele Walker led the way, going 2 for 5 with a triple.

The Mudcats’ bullpen preserved the one-run lead, with Cody Beckman and Matt Hardy combining to throw two innings in relief of Taugner. Michael Petersen struck out two in the ninth to record his first save.

Kade McClure took the loss for the Dash, yielding eight hits over six innings.