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Doubledays split double-header with Tri-City

After Mother Nature forced a double-header on Wednesday, the last thing anybody on either team wanted to see was more rain.

The Doubledays played two seven-inning games against the Tri-City ValleyCats that were once again delayed due to inclement weather. After it was all said and done following an hour-plus rain delay, Auburn (19-18) and Tri-City (22-16) split the doubleheader with stellar pitching stealing the show in both games.

Both starters commanded the mound from the get-go in Game 1, with Doubledays starter Carson Teel and ValleyCats starter Juan Pablo Lopez each going two scoreless innings to open the game.

Despite Teel’s sharpness to open the game, Tri-City attacked first with a run in the third inning. Back-to-back base runners spelled trouble for the Oklahoma State product, and despite a successful pickoff at first base to secure the first out of the inning, a subsequent single broke the scoreless stalemate and put the ValleyCats on the board. Teel wouldn’t escape the inning, with Yonathan Ramirez entering the game to induce the last out of the frame.

Ramirez was out of of the contest after that one out and was replaced by Aaron Barrett in the fourth. Barrett entered the game pitching in a 1-1 tie after the Doubledays knotted the contest back up with a Nic Perkins double in the top of the inning. Barrett pitched a perfect frame with two strikeouts.

Barrett’s replacement, Chandler Day, gave up two big runs in his three innings of work. With the contest shortened to just seven innings due to the doubleheader, the Doubledays had one last whack at taking the game from the ValleyCats after falling behind, 3-1.

Ricardo Mendez opened the inning with a leadoff single, and Jose Sanchez followed with a walk. Two batters later, Cody Wilson came through with a massive game-tying RBI double to level the game 3-3.

Advancing to third on a throwing error on the play, Wilson scored a batter later on a Jacob Rhinesmith single to give the Doubledays their winning score of 4-3.

But the Doubledays weren’t as lucky in Game 2.

Just like Game 1, the contest opened with a stalemate between Auburn’s Tim Cate and Tri-City’s Austin Hansen. Cate, after going a career-high four innings his last appearance, was solid his first two innings but tailed off towards the end. His three earned runs allowed in the third inning were the most that he’s allowed in any outing all season.

But while Cate hit a snag early in game, the ValleyCats breezed by the Doubledays offense until the seventh inning. Hansen pitched 2.2 innings to lower his ERA on the season to a miniscule 0.52, and R.J. Freure and Cody Deason combined for four scoreless frames on three hits.

The Doubledays did manage to make things interesting in the ninth. With two outs and a runner on first, Nic Perkins singled to put runners at the corners for Cole Daily. Daily walked to juice the bags, and Victor Robles – on a rehab assignment and the Nationals’ top prospect – lined a single to left field to drive in two.

The action, however, ended there for Auburn, as Carson Shaddy struck out to end the rally and give the ValleyCats the 3-2 win.

The Doubledays will be back in action Friday at 6:30 when they begin a six game homestand against the Connecticut Tigers. Listen LIVE on Radio.

By Chris Valentino Tril