SALISBURY, Md. – The Down East Wood Ducks combined for eight runs in the seventh inning of both games to sweep the doubleheader against the Delmarva Shorebirds, Sunday afternoon. The Woodies took the first contest by a score 9-5 and game two 6-2.
Down East (47-36) started game one with a big first inning as they chased Delmarva starter Griffin McLarty from the game after only getting one out. Jayce Easley led off the game with a walk and was picked off first. Things went downhill for McLarty fast as Daniel Mateo doubled and advanced to third on a single by Luisangel Acuña. With runners at the corners, Keyber Rodriguez singled to score Mateo for the 1-0 lead and Acuña moved to third. Following a mound visit, Cristian Inoa blew the game open with a three-run home run (8) and Thomas Saggese hit a solo home run (7) to make the score 5-0, in favor of the Wood Ducks.
Delmarva (45-38) started to climb back as they scored five unanswered runs between the second and sixth innings to tie the game at 5.
The Wood Ducks responded in a big way with four runs in the top of the seventh. Mateo walked and advanced to second on a passed ball. Acuña followed with a single and Mateo went to third. With runners at the corners, Acuña stole second (29). With one out, Inoa reached on a fielder’s choice but Mateo scored the go-ahead run and Acuña advanced to third. Saggese singled in the ensuing at-bat to score Acuña for the 7-5 lead. A wild pitch allowed both runners to advance to second and third, then Alejandro Osuna hit a sac fly to plate Inoa to give Down East the 8-5 lead. Brady Smith continued his great series with a double to score Saggese for the 9-5 lead.
Nick Krauth took the no-decision, pitching four innings, allowing two runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Destin Dotson allowed two unearned runs on one hit with one strikeout in one inning of work. Marc Church (W, 3-1) took the win, pitching two innings while allowing one run on three hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
The Wood Ducks broke out ahead in game two in the top of the third. With one out, Easley walked and stole second (45). Mateo walked and both runners advanced on a groundout by Acuña. With runners on second and third, Rodriguez singled to score both runners to put Down East ahead 2-0.
Delmarva managed to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth with a pair of runs.
The game remained tied until the Woodies broke through in the top of the seventh. With one out, Keithron Moss singled and stole second (11). Easley walked and following a pitching change, Mateo singled to load the bases. Acuña doubled to bring in Moss and Easley for the 4-2 lead, while Mateo moved on to third. Rodriguez grounded out but Mateo scored making the score 5-2. Saggese continued his fantastic day with a single that scored Acuña for the 6-2 lead.
In his first start of the season, Jesus Linarez pitched three scoreless innings with one hit allowed and two strikeouts. Mason Cole contributed 2/3 of an inning, allowing two runs (one earned) on one hit with one walk and one strikeout. Teodoro Ortega pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings with one strikeout. Spencer Mraz (W, 4-4) earned the win as he pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts to end the game. The Woodies’ bullpen retired the final 11 batters of the game.
With an off day scheduled Monday, the Wood Ducks return home to Grainger Stadium on Tuesday. They will begin a six-game homestand with the Carolina Mudcats.
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 – 9 am – 4 pm). Make sure to follow your Down East Wood Ducks on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so you don’t miss anything!