Rodriguez helps Wood Ducks return to winning ways

Down East Wood Ducks

Keyber Rodriguez (Down East Wood Ducks photos; photo illustration by Jason O. Boyd)

KINSTON, N.C. – After an 8-2 loss on Friday, the Down East Wood Ducks (9-2) avenged their loss with a 4-2 win Saturday night against the Carolina Mudcats (7-4).

The Woodies took an early lead in the bottom of the first and never looked back. Down East and the Mudcats conclude their series tomorrow.

After the lack of offense yesterday, Down East bounced back scoring early against Mudcats starter Michele Vassalotti in the bottom of the first. Evan Carter was hit by a pitch and stole second. Luisangel Acuña grounded out but Carter advanced to third on the play. With one out Dustin Harris was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners.

Keyber Rodriguez hit a ground-rule double to score Carter and put runners on second and third. With Keithron Moss batting, Harris scored the second run on a wild pitch.

Control was a problem for Vassalotti as he plunked five Wood Ducks in his start while being removed with two outs in he second inning. Jayce Easley walked and stole second with one out. With Carter batting, Easley advanced to third on a wild pitch. Carter and Acuña both followed being hit by a pitch to load the bases. Harris struck out and with two outs, Rodriguez was also hit by a pitch to score Easley and give the Wood Ducks a 3-0 lead.

Carolina added a run in the fifth and one in the sixth to cut the deficit to 3-2. Down East added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Easley started the inning with an infield single and then stole second.

Nick Krauth took the no-decision, pitching 4 2/3 innings, allowing one run on one hit with one walk and four strikeouts. Gavin Collyer (1-0) earned the win and was the first arm out of the bullpen for the Wood Ducks. He pitched two innings, allowing one run on one hit with two strikeouts. Spencer Mraz pitched the final 2 1/3 innings en route to his third save of the season. He allowed one hit, issued two walks and tallied five strikeouts.

The series concludes Sunday with first pitch at 1 p.m. Down East will send RH Mason Englert (0-0,3.00) against Carolina RH Jhoan Cruz (0-0, 5.40).

Fans can still purchase tickets for the month of May 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 -5pm). Make sure to follow your Down East Wood Ducks on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you don’t miss anything!

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