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ZEBULON — The Carolina Mudcats picked up a one-hitter over five innings from starter Scotty Sunitsch on Wednesday night and Pat McInerney drove in three runs en route to a 5-0 win over the Fayetteville Woodpeckers in Advanced-A Carolina League action at Five County Stadium.
McInerney hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning and drove in another run in the sixth as the Mudcats improved to 65-69 overall and 26-39 in the second half of the season. It was McInerney’s ninth homer of the year.
The run support was more than enough for the Carolina pitching staff, with Sunitsich striking out a career-high eight batters and allowing just one hit, a two-out double to Scott Schreiber in the fifth. Matt Hardy and Phil Bickford followed in relief, with Bickford ending the game with five strikeouts over the final two innings. His scoreless streak now stands at 24 2/3 innings in 14 appearances dating back to July 9.
The Mudcats added two more runs in the seventh after Nathan Rodriguez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Jackie Urbaez added a sacrifice fly.
Nivaldo Rodriguez was tagged with the loss for Fayetteville (67-66, 36-28 second half), allowing two runs over five innings.
Each team finished with five hits. Schreiber was 2 for 3 to lead the Fayetteville offense.
With a three-game losing streak halted, the Mudcats will play their final home game of 2019 on Thursday at 7 when the series concludes.