Six Mudcats can’t help Southern All-Stars win Carolina League All-Star Classic

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SALEM, Va. — Six members of the Carolina Mudcats didn’t help the Southern Division All-Stars on Tuesday night in the Carolina League All-Star Classic.

The Northern Division All-Stars got all the runs they would need in the top of the first inning as Michael Chavis of the host Salem Red Sox rapped a two-run double and five Northern hurlers combined on a five-hitter in the 2-0 victory.

Carolina’s Jake Gatewood, who started at first base, and Isan Diaz, who played second base in a reserve role, each went 0 for 2 at the plate.

Three Mudcats pitchers — Cody Ponce, Freddy Peralta and Nate Griep — each pitched a scoreless inning with only Griep allowing a hit. Another Carolina pitcher, Corey Ray, did not see action.

Gatewood, however, won the All-Star Classic Hitting Challenge on Monday. Gatewood slammed 13 home runs in each of the first two rounds then pounded 15 homers in the finals to beat Sicnarf Loopstok of the Lynchburg Hillcats.

Gatewood finished the first half of the Advanced-A Carolina League season with nine homers, 33 RBIs and 22 doubles while batting .283. Mudcats teammate Corbin Burnes leads the league in ERA at 1.05 while winning all five of his decisions on the mound.

Carolina ended the first half tied for second with the first-year Buies Creek Astros in the Southern Division at 36-32. Both are six games behind first-half winner Myrtle Beach (43-27). Lynchburg and Salem tied for the Northern Division first-half title at 40-29 each.

The Mudcats open the second half with an eight-game road swing, beginning Thursday at Potomac in the opener of a four-game series. Carolina then visits Buies Creek for four more games, starting Monday before starting a seven-game homestand June 30 in Five County Stadium.