(HUNTSVILLE) - Kris Harvey's 2-run home run in the 8th inning was the deciding blow in Carolina's 5-4 comeback win over the Huntsville Starsm Friday night at Joe Davis Stadium.
The loss, the Stars' 2nd straight, reduced their lead in the Northern Division to 3½ games over West Tennessee.
Cole Gillespie's 2-out solo home run off closer Chris Mobley in the bottom of the 9th kept hope alive for the Stars. Mike Bell then reached on a fielding error, but Freddy Parejo's ground out ended the game.
Mobley earned his 3rd save after Matt Yourkin (2-2) tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Chris Volstad.
Brett Hayes legged out an infield single with two outs in the 8th before Harvey, a .132 hitter entering into the game, launched a 1-1 offering from Robert Hinton over the wall in left field to break a 3-3 tie. It was Harvey's third long ball of the year and gave him 5 RBIs over 117 at-bats.
A 2-out single by Cole Gillespie in the bottom of the 1st, an RBI single by Mike Bell in the 3rd, and an RBI hit by Mat Gamel in the 4th gave the Stars a 3-1 lead.
Huntsville starter Derek Miller walked five Carolina hitters in his five innings on the mound, striking out two. Robert Hinton (2-1) pitched three more in middle relief and gave up Harvey's game-winning home run in the 8th. Joe Bateman finished the game for the Stars.
Mudcats starter Chris Volstad was taken out after 5 2/3 innings, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits and 5 walks.
The Mudcats improve to 24-18 on the season and pulled to within 5 games of the division- leading Stars, while the Stars drop to 29-13.
Saturday afternoon, left-hander David Welch takes the mound for the Stars against Mudcats' right-hander Marc Lammachia.