Potomac Nationals (35-29) vs. Carolina Mudcats (28-35)

Washington Nationals vs. Cleveland Indians
Game #64 of 138 / Home Game #35 (14-20)
Pitching Probables: POT-RH Blake Schwartz vs CAR-LH Ryan Merritt
Wednesday June 11, 2014 | Five County Stadium | Zebulon, N.C. | 7:00 p.m. ET
Mudcats Radio Network: WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, Pirate Radio AM 1250 & AM 930, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn App … Darren Headrick-play-by-play

Thursday, June 12 at Wilmington (KC): CAR-RH Cole Sulser vs WIL-RH Luis Santos – 7:05 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
Friday, June 13 at Wilmington (KC): CAR-RH Adam Plutko vs WIL-LH Sean Manaea – 7:05 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
Saturday, June 14 at Wilmington (KC): CAR-LH Shawn Morimando vs WIL-RH Glenn Sparkman – 7:05 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
Sunday, June 15 at Wilmington (KC): CAR-RH D.J. Brown vs WIL-TBA – 1:35 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
Monday, June 16 OFF DAY – ALL-STAR BREAK

Ryan Merritt - #32 Carolina Mudcats

Ryan Merritt – #32
Carolina Mudcats

#32 – Ryan Merritt

Bats/Throws: Left/Left
Height/Weight: 6-0/165
Born: 2/21/92 in McKinney, TX | Resides: Celina, TX
Opening Day Age: 22
Acquired by Indians: 16th round selection in 2011
Features: FB, CV, CH

– Fourth season in professional baseball
– Selected as a 2014 Carolina League All-Star
– Owns 8 quality starts in 2014, Mucats are 7-1
– Carolina average 3.0 runs a game when Merritt pitches
– June 6th outing the longest start since 8.0 IP on June 8, 2013 (1-0 win over Bowling Green)
– Pitched 15.1 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run from April 11-May 1
– Finished April with a 3-0 record and an incredible 0.37 ERA across four starts (24.1 innings)
– Allowed only 14 earned runs over his final 53.2 innings to end 2013
– His 18 walks in 126.1 innings with Lake County was 2nd fewest in Midwest League
– Was named Indians Minor League Player of the Week for May 6-13, 2013
– Drafted out of McLennan Community College
– In 88 innings in college, he had 88 strikeouts with a 1.23 ERA
– Had offers from several Big 12 schools, including Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas
– 2nd team All-State coming out of Celina High School (TX) with a 0.98 ERA
– Also hit .455 in high school
– Has four siblings: Joseph, Wes, Seth and Hannah

The Series vs Potomac — The Mudcats welcome the Potomac Nationals to Five County Stadium for the second time this year. The clubs met in the opening series of the season, splitting four games. The Mudcats trail the overall series against Potomac 27-23. However, the Mudcats are 17-9 against the P-Nats in Zebulon, including victories in the first eight meetings.

Last Time Out — The Carolina Mudcats collected 13 hits in a 6-4 victory over the Potomac Nationals on Tuesday night at Five County Stadium. Erik Gonzalez paced the offense with three hits, including two doubles. Yandy Diaz, Todd Hankins, Alex Monsalve and James Roberts had two hits each. Michael Peoples snapped a personal four-game losing streak, earning his third victory. Peoples limited the P-Nats to one run on three hits over five innings.

Tonight’s Pitching Probables — Ryan Merritt makes his fourth attempt at winning his seventh decision of 2014. The southpaw held Winston-Salem to a run on six hits across 7.2 innings, ending with a no decision in his last outing. The Mudcats average three runs per game when Merritt starts. The All-Star is 6-2 and boasts the best ERA in the CL at 1.66. Potomac counters with Blake Schwartz. The right-hander is hoping for a return to form after an unsuccessful stint with Double-A Harrisburg. Schwartz was 0-7 with a 7.04 ERA. With Potomac, he has a 2.70 ERA in 3 1/3 innings.

Gallas Gets the Call — Outfielder Anthony Gallas was promoted to Double-A Akron. The 2014 Carolina League All-Star finished takes a .276 batting average with him. Gallas led the Mudcats with eight home runs and 21 doubles. He departs with a share of the team lead for RBI (31). In a corresponding move, catcher Ryan Battaglia was transferred from Mahoning Valley to Carolina.
Quality Starts — Carolina starters own 27 quality starts in 63 games. The Mudcats are 17-10 when a starter pitches a quality outing. Ryan Merritt paces the club with eight quality starts. Shawn Morimando is second on the team with seven, including four straight.

Chasing History — With 7.2 innings pitched on Friday night, Ryan Merritt lowered his ERA five points, down to 1.66. Through 12 starts overall, the southpaw has allowed 14 earned runs across 76.0 innings. His ERA is ahead of Cody Anderson, the Mudcats’ 2013 CL Pitcher of the Year. Anderson owned a 2.86 ERA through his first 12 starts last summer. Merritt’s current pace puts him second all-time among Mudcats qualified starters. Travis Wood’s 2009 campaign with Carolina still ranks tops. The left-hander finished with a 1.21 ERA in 19 starts, totaling 119 innings pitched. That summer, Wood won nine in a row from May 6-July 19.

Welcome to the Tribe — The Cleveland Indians had four of the first 61 draft picks this year. With the 21st overall selection, the Tribe took Bradley Zimmer, an outfielder from the University of San Francisco. The club chose, and signed, left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield from Tullhoma (TN) High School with the 31st overall pick. Outfielder Mike Papi from the University of Virginia went to the Indians with the 38th selection. Going 61st to the Indians was Grant Hockin, a right-handed pitcher out of Damien High School (CA).

Muddy’s Tales — The Mudcats host the Potomac Nationals for a three-game set beginning Monday, June 9th. It will be the final homestand before the All-Star break. The series with the P-Nats features Dollar Dog Night on Tuesday, June 10. All three games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with gates opening at 6:15 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling (919) 269-2287 or by visiting carolinamudcats.com.