KINSTON, N.C. – The Down East Wood Ducks swept their doubleheader with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers Thursday night.
The Wood Ducks won game one, 8-7 with a five-run bottom of the seventh for the walkoff win. Game two went to extra innings, and the clutch bats came alive for Down East, plating three runs in the bottom of the eighth for the 4-3 win.
Fayetteville (33-42) jumped out to an early lead in game one of the doubleheader. The Woodpeckers scored a run in the first and two in the third to take a 3-0 lead.
Down East (41-34) broke through in the bottom of the third against Fayetteville starter Julio Robaina. Keithron Moss reached first to start the inning on a fielding error and advanced to third on a single by Jayce Easley. Luisangel Acuña hit a sac fly to score Moss to cut the deficit to 3-1. Dustin Harris walked to put runners on first and second. In the ensuing at-bat, Easley stole third and Harris stole second, an errant throw by Fayetteville’s catcher allowed Easley to score to make the score 3-2.
The Woodpeckers managed to add one more run in the top of the fifth to give them a two-run cushion, 4-2.
The Woodies took advantage of the Woodpeckers’ third error of the game with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Easley walked to lead off the inning and with one out Harris walked. After a strikeout of Keyber Rodriguez, Fayetteville’s catcher attempted a pickoff throw to first and threw it to right field. Easley was caught in a rundown between third and home but scored to put the Wood Ducks back down one, 4-3.
Fayetteville kept the bats going as they plated three runs to take a 7-3 lead in the top of the sixth.
Down East rallied in the bottom of the seventh with five runs. Acuña led off with a walk and scored on a one-out double by Rodriguez to cut the deficit to 7-4. With a runner at second, Cristian Inoa homered (7) to make the score 7-6. Angel Aponte tied the game with a solo homerun and with two outs, Alejandro Osuna hammered a 3-2 pitch to right field for a walk-off home run (2) to give Down East he 8-7 win.
John Matthews pitched four innings, allowing four runs on six hits with two walks and one strikeout. Destin Dotson pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Spencer Mraz (3-3) earned the win, as he pitched the final 1 2/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits with two strikeouts.
Acuña led off game two of the doubleheader with a single and then stole second (26). During the next at-bat, he stole third (27) and on the wild pitch scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the first for the 1-0 lead.
Fayetteville responded with a solo home run to tie the game at one in the top of the second.
The game remained tied until the top of the eighth, and Fayetteville capitalized with a run to take the 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Down East continued to have clutch at-bats. With Acuña at second, Harris hit a two-run home run on the first pitch of the at-bat to tie the game at three. After a walk to Thomas Saggese, Rodriguez bunted him to second. Aponte then singled to right to score the winning run, 4-3 and give the Wood Ducks the doubleheader sweep.
Florencio Serrano took the no-decision, pitching a season-high five innings while allowing one run on three hits with one walk setting a season-high with seven strikeouts. Teodoro Ortega pitched two perfect innings with one strikeout. Jesus Linarez (W, 2-1) earned the win after allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits with one walk in one inning of work.
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!