KINSTON, N.C. – Thanks to a nine-run first inning, the Avocados Luchadores (Down East Wood Ducks), defeated the Pescados de Carolina (Carolina Mudcats), 14-2 Saturday night.
Finishing with two hits, including a home run and four RBIs, Thomas Saggese earned the Suddenlink Player of the Game.
The Avocados (26-20) sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first and exploded for nine runs, chasing Pescados starter Brendan Murphy (L, 3-2) from the game after recording only one out. Jayce Easley led off with an infield single and stole second. With one out, Dustin Harris walked and both runners advanced to second and third on a double steal. Keyber Rodriguez walked to load the bases and Cody Freeman singled to score Easley to give the Avocados the 1-0 lead.
Alejandro Osuna walked and Harris scored the second run of the inning. Thomas Saggese walked with the bases loaded to score Rodriguez from third to put the Luchadores ahead 3-0. With Antonio Cabello batting, a wild pitch from reliever Peyton Long scored Freeman from third to give the Avocados the 4-0 lead.
With runners at second and third, Cabello ripped a two-run double to left field as the Luchadores pushed their lead to 6-0. With a runner at second, Keithron Moss singled to put runners at the corners with one out. Easley walked to load the bases again. Luisangel Acuña reached on a fielder’s choice with the runner at home thrown out.
With the bases still loaded and two outs, Harris ripped a double to right field to plate two more runs to push the Avocados lead to 8-0. With runners at the corners, Harris stole second and Acuña scored the ninth run on a wild pitch.
The Pescados (28-17) answered with two runs in the top of the sixth to cut the deficit to 9-2.
The Luchadores answered in the bottom of the seventh with two runs of their own. Freeman led off with a single and stole second. With one out, Saggese blasted a two-run home run to push the Avocados lead to 11-2.
Three more runs crossed the plate for the Avocados, as a position player took the mound for the Pescados in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Acuña reached on an infield single. After a pop out, Rodriguez walked and Freeman singled to load the bases. Osuna followed with a two-run single to push the lead to 13-2. Saggese singled to score Osuna from second to give the Avocados the 14-2 lead.
Nick Krauth (W, 1-2) earned his first win of the season as he pitched six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Marc Church was the first arm out of the bullpen for the Avocados. He pitched two scoreless innings with one walk and four strikeouts. Joshua Javier came on to pitch the final frame, as he allowed one hit and struck out the final three batters he faced.
The Wood Ducks and Mudcats conclude their series Sunday at 1 p.m. The Wood Ducks will turn to RHP Mason Englert (3-1, 3.51) and the Mudcats will counter with RHP Nick Belzer (3-1, 4.22).
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!