Down East bullpen blows lead in loss to Kannapolis

Down East Wood Ducks

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KINSTON, N.C. – After surrendering eight unanswered runs in the final four innings, the Down East Wood Ducks fell to the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers 9-7, Tuesday.

With this loss, the Wood Ducks fall to 0-6 when the opponent scores first.

After surrendering a run in the top of the first, Down East (22-14) answered with three in the bottom half of the first. Luisangel Acuña reached on a fielding error by Kannapolis (8-28) third baseman Lency Delgado. Keyber Rodriguez grounded out but Acuña advanced to second. Dustin Harris tied the game with a single to center that allowed Acuña to score the tying run. With two outs, Cristian Inoa walked to put runners on first and second. Xavier Valentin followed with a two-run double to score Inoa and Harris to give the Wood Ducks a 3-1 lead.

Down East continued their offense in the bottom of the second. On the first pitch, Obie Ricumstrict hammered a homerun to left as the Wood Ducks increased their lead to 4-1.

The Wood Ducks broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth. Thomas Saggese reached on a fielding error by Cannon Ballers third baseman Lency Delgado. Saggese advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a one-out single by Antonio Cabello for the 5-1 lead. Acuña singled to put runners at the corners.

With two outs, Harris singled to score Cabello as the Wood Ducks took a 6-1 lead. Acuña moved to third on the Harris single and with runners at the corners, Harris stole second and on the pickoff attempt, Acuña raced home and beat the tag to give Down East a 7-1 lead.

The Kannapolis bats woke up in the top of the sixth as they pushed five unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh innings to pull to within one, 7-6. In the top of the ninth, they plated three more and took the 9-7 lead.

After going 2-4 with a pair of singles and two RBIs, Harris earns tonight’s Suddenlink Player of the Game. This is the eighth time he tallied a multi-hit game

Gavin Collyer took the no-decision, pitching four innings with one run allowed on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Nick Lockhart pitched 1 2/3 innings, allowing three runs allowed on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Ben Anderson pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits with one walk and three strikeouts.

Spencer Mraz (L,2-1)(BS, 2) took the loss after surrendering three runs in the ninth inning. He finished with one inning pitched, three runs allowed on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts.

The series continues Wednesday between the Cannon Ballers and Wood Ducks with first pitch set for 7 p.m. RHP Wyatt Sparks (1-0, 4.56) will get the start for Down East and Kannapolis will counter with RHP Andrew Dalquist (1-2, 5.21).

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!

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