KINSTON, N.C. – After a 19-10 loss, the Down East Wood Ducks rebounded with an 11-6 win over the Carolina Mudcats, Thursday night.
Down East held Carolina scoreless through the first seven innings and had a huge offensive day with 11 runs.
Down East (49-37) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first against Carolina starter Michele Vassalotti (L, 4-6). Jayce Easley walked, stole second, and scored on a double by Jose Acosta to give the Wood Ducks a 1-0 lead. Luisangel Acuña grounded out but Acosta advanced to third. With two outs, Thomas Saggese walked and Cristian Inoa was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Angel Aponte was also hit by a pitch and that scored Acosta to give Down East the 2-0 lead.
The Woodies added two more runs in the bottom of the second. Alejandro Osuna walked and stole second. Easley worked his second walk and both runners advanced on a single by Acosta to load the bases. With one out, Keyber Rodriguez hit a sac fly to score Osuna for the 3-0 lead and Easley advanced to third. With runners at the corners, Saggese was hit by a pitch to load the bases again and Inoa walked to score Easley for the 4-0 lead.
Down East continued to add to their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Xavier Valentin walked, stole second and Osuna walked and stole second, while Valentin advanced on a wild pitch to put runners on second and third. With one out, Acosta walked to load the bases and Acuña doubled to score Valentin and Osuna to increase the Woodies lead to 6-0. Acosta moved to third on the double and scored on a groundout by Rodriguez for the 7-0 lead and Acuña advanced to third on the play.
The Wood Ducks plated two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Angel Aponte led off with a single and advanced to second on a one-out single by Osuna. Easley walked to load the bases and Acosta walked to score Aponte for the 10-0 lead. With the bases still loaded, Acuña hit a fly ball to center that was dropped by Micah Bello, which allowed Osuna to score to put Down East up 11-0.
Carolina (52-35) built a little momentum, as they loaded the bases to start the eighth inning and managed six runs to cut the deficit to 11-6.
Florencio Serrano (W, 3-0) earned the win as he pitched five scoreless innings, allowing four hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Teodoro Ortega contributed two scoreless innings with one walk and three strikeouts. Marc Church did not record an out, allowing six runs on four hits with two walks. Mason Cole cleaned up the final two innings, with one hit allowed and one strikeout.
The series continues Friday, with first pitch set for 7 p.m. RHP Mason Englert (5-3, 4.00) gets the ball for Down East, while Carolina will turn to LHP Antoine Kelly (0-0, 4.38).
Fans can purchase tickets on woodducksbaseball.com, by calling the Wood Ducks Team Offices at (252) 686-5164 or in the Wood Ducks Team Offices located at Grainger Stadium (Mon-Fri – 9am – 4pm). Make sure to follow your Down East Wood Ducks on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so you don’t miss anything!