ZEBULON, N.C. – Jeferson Quero, Micah Bello and Hedbert Perez each had run-scoring doubles in Carolina’s seven-run sixth, reliever Israel Puello struck out six over three innings to earn the win, and Trevor Tietz escaped a jam in the ninth while earning his first career save as the Mudcats wrapped up a series sweep of the Wood Ducks with an 11-9 victory on Sunday afternoon at Five County Stadium.

The Mudcats (3-0) led early with runs in the first and second innings but fell behind 4-2 in the third when the Wood Ducks (0-3) got home runs from Efrenyer Narvaez and Yosy Galan. Those two homers came off starter Edwin Jimenez in the third and lifted Down East to the early lead. The two sides traded runs in the fifth, but Carolina would go on to flip the game in the sixth after putting together a seven-run and seven-hit frame.

Carolina’s sixth-inning rally started with three straight hits from Jose Sibrian, Alberis Ferrer and Eduardo Garcia. It then continued with a two-run double from Quero, a two-run double from Bello, a Jesus Chrinos sacrifice fly, and an RBI double from Perez. The first three hits, and the first four runs of the inning were allowed by reliever Damian Mendoza (L, 0-1). The next three runs and the final four hits were allowed by reliever Teodoro Ortega.

Quero led the way by going 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI in the game for the Mudcats. Bello went 1-for-4 with two RBI and his fifth double of the season. Garcia had an RBI double early in the game and went 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Sibrian reached base three times while going 2-for-3 with two runs, two hit-by-pitches, two singles and an RBI. Both of his hits came during Carolina’s seven-run sixth inning.

Carolina led 11-5 after the sixth and would later survive a four-run Down East rally in the ninth while holding on for the 11-9 sweep clinching victory. Reliever Jakob Brutoski hit two batters, walked four, allowed four runs, struck out two and gave up one hit in the ninth before leaving the game. Tietz (S, 1) followed and went on to allow just one of his three inherited runners to score before getting a force out to end the game.

Puello (W, 1-0) earned the victory after holding the Wood Ducks scoreless between the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. He finished his season debut with six strikeouts, one walk and one hit allowed over three scoreless frames.

The Wood Ducks (0-3) play in their home opener Tuesday against the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. The game starts at 7 p.m. and is part of WNCT’s sponsorship night. We’ll broadcast our 5, 5:30 and 6 p.m. newscasts and will be part of the fireworks show after the game.

HOME RUNS:

Down East: Narvaez (1, 3rd inning off Jimenez, 1 on, 0 out); Galan (1, 3rd inning off Jimenez, 0 on, 2 out).

TOP PERFORMERS – BATTERS:
Quero, DH (Carolina): 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI
Garcia, E, SS (Carolina): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Sibrian, C (Carolina): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 RBI
Bello, LF (Carolina): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI
Narvaez, DH (Down East): 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Galan, LF (Down East): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Smith, C (Down East): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Paniagua, 2B (Down East): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI