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Future Stars, Francisco pound Reds, 12-4

Juan Francisco hit two home runs — an inside-the-park job and a monster shot that cleared the visitor's clubhouse at Five County Stadium — to help lead the Cincinnati Reds' Future Stars team by the Reds' Major League club 12-4 on Friday night.

The Future stars built a 10-0 lead in the first five innings. Francisco's dingers brought home five of those runs. Francisco, a standout prospect at third base, will begin his Minor League season playing with the Carolina Mudcats at Five County Stadium.

We'll have a full recap of the game in this coming week's print editions of the Garner-Clayton Record, The Herald of Johnston County and The Eastern Wake News.

Futures Game roster announced

The Cincinnati Reds have announced the Futures Team roster for
Friday night's Major League Exhibition game between the Reds and their
top prospects at Five County Stadium in Zebulon.

Here's the rundown from a Carolina Mudcats' press release: 

 

Highlighting
the Futures Team Roster is the Reds 2008 first-round pick and the
seventh overall selection of the 2008 draft, first baseman Yonder
Alonso. Alonso is currently the top-rated prospect in the Reds
organization. Infielder-Outfielder Todd Frazier (#2 prospect),
outfielder Drew Stubbs (#3 prospect), shortstop Chris Valaika (#4
prospect), and outfielder Yorman Rodriguez (#5 prospect) are also
scheduled to play.
 

Raynor homers in Spring training game for Marlins

Benson's John Raynor, a South Johnston High graduate and a former Carolina Mudcat, continues to hang around big league camp with the Florida Marlins. Sunday, Raynor homered in the Marlins' 2-0 victory over Detroit.

So far, Raynor has appeared in seven games and is hitting .333 (7-for-21) with two doubles, four runs scored, two RBIs and two stolen bases. Although (because of a number of factors) he's probably still a bit of a longshot to make the Marlins' Opening Day roster out of Spring Training, the solid Spring certainly can't hurt his future with Florida.

Mudcats to hold National Anthem tryouts on Saturday

The Carolina Mudcats will host their annual National Anthem tryouts
from 9 a.m. till noon on Saturday, March 21, at Five County Stadium.
Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the third base side of the
stadium and will be first come first serve.

Mudcats individual game tickets now available

Single-game tickets for the 2009 season of Carolina Mudcats'
baseball are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased in a variety of
ways:  online at www.CarolinaMudcats.com, via the Mudcats' box office
at (919) 269-2287, and at Five County Stadium.

Former Reds' standout to lead Mudcats' pitching staff

The Cincinnati Reds have named former major league pitcher Tom Browning as the pitching
coach for the Carolina Mudcats for the 2009 Southern League season.

Mudcats to announce new affiliation on Friday

The Carolina Mudcats will announce their new minor league affiliation tomorrow afternoon. Also set to be announced are "special" plans for the 2009 schedule and plans for more improvements at the stadium.

We'll have full coverage of all of the news coming out Friday online at theherald-nc.com/sports and in next week's print editon of The Herald.

Four Mudcats are officially Marlins now

Southern League MVP Gaby Sanchez is headed to the big club in Miami, joining fellow Mudcats Cameron Maybin, Ryan Tucker and Jesus Delgado, who have already spent time in the Major Leagues.

You can read more about their promotion at theherald-nc.com/sports or by clicking here: http://www.theherald-nc.com/sports/story/9220.html

Mississippi takes Southern League title

Final in 10 innings, 3-2 Mississippi. The winning run comes home on a wild pitch.

End 9th: Carolina 2, Mississippi 2

This will be our third extra-inning game of the series.

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