KINSTON, N.C. – Thanks to six strong innings by Mason Englert, the Down East Wood Ducks defeated the Carolina Mudcats, 6-2 Sunday afternoon.
The Wood Ducks improve to 27-20 on the season and trail Carolina by 1.5 games for first place in the Low-A East, central division.
Down East opened the scoring in the bottom of the third against Carolina starter Nick Belzer (L, 3-2). With one out, Randy Florentino doubled and scored on a double by Jayce Easley to give Down East the early lead, 1-0.
Luisangel Acuña followed with a single to score Easley from second for the 2-0 lead. Acuñastole second during the at-bat of Dustin Harris. Harris followed with another single to score Acuña from second to push the lead to 3-0.
Carolina (28-18) answered with a run in the top of the fourth, thanks to a Joe Gray solo home run.
The Wood Ducks added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth against Carolina reliever Juan Geraldo. Acuña led off with a double and advanced to third on a fly out by Harris. Keyber Rodriguez singled to drive in Acuña from third to push the Woodies lead to 4-1.
Down East added to their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Obie Ricumstrict walked with one out and stole second. With two outs, Easley drove in Ricumstrict from second with a single to push the lead to 5-1.
The Mudcats added a run in the top of the seventh off an RBI double with a runner at third by Alex Hall.
Down East answered with another run in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Harris singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With Rodriguez batting, Harris stole third and scored on a throwing error by Carolina catcher, Alex Hall, to put the Wood Ducks ahead 6-2.
Mason Englert (W, 4-1) was named the Suddenlink Player of the Game as he pitched six solid innings with one run allowed on one hit with three walks and six strikeouts. John Matthews was first out of the bullpen and pitched one inning, allowing one run on three hits with one strikeout.
Spencer Mraz pitched one inning of relief with one walk and one strikeout. Ben Anderson pitched the final frame, issuing one hit with two strikeouts.
With an off day tomorrow for the Low-A East, the Wood Ducks begin a 12-game road trip, starting with six against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Tuesday. The starters for that series have not yet been announced.
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!