KINSTON, N.C. — In their longest game of the season, the Down East Wood Ducks walked off the Carolina Mudcats 12-11 after an 11-inning, 4-hour, 48-minute contest.
The teams combined for 23 runs on 23 hits with five errors. The win cuts Carolina’s lead in the Low-A East Central Division to 1.5 games over Down East.
Carolina (52-36) got on the board first against Down East starter Mason Englert, scoring three runs off two home runs to take a 3-0 lead.
Down East (50-37) answered in the bottom of the first but did not record a hit. Jayce Easley led off with a walk, and stole second and third (50). Daniel Mateo walked and stole second (3) and on the throwing error by catcher Alex Hall, Easley scored to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Luisangel Acuña walked and with runners on first and second, Keyber Rodriguez hit a bloop single to center field to score Mateo to make the score 3-2 and Acuña advanced to third. During the at-bat of Thomas Saggese, Rodriguez stole second and Saggese then walked to load the bases. A wild pitch scored Acuña from third to tie the game at three.
With one out, Alejandro Osuna walked and following a pitching change, Rodriguez scored on a sac fly by Randy Florentino to put Down East ahead, 4-3
The Mudcats managed to tie the game at four in the top of the second.
The Woodies regained the lead, in the bottom of the fourth. Easley led off with a triple and scored on a single by Mateo for the 5-4 lead. With one out, Rodriguez singled to score Mateo to put the Woodies up 6-4. With Rodriguez on first, Saggese doubled to put runners at second and third. Cristian Inoa grounded out in the next at-bat but Rodriguez was able to score for the 7-4 lead.
Carolina took the 8-7 lead with two runs in the sixth and two runs in the eighth.
Down East tied the game in the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Mateo blasted a solo home run (1) on the third pitch of the inning to tie the game at eight.
The Mudcats plated three runs in the top of the 10th to take an 11-8 lead.
The bats answered the call for Down East in the bottom of the 10th. With Moss at second, Easley walked and they stole second and third with two outs. Rodriguez blooped a single to left that scored both runners to tie the game at 10.
Carolina managed to take the lead back in the top of the 11th with one run, for an 11-10 lead.
The Wood Ducks came storming back with a walk-off win in the bottom of the 11th. With Saggese starting at second, Inoa doubled to score Saggese to tie the game at 11. With one out, Yenci Peña entered as a pinch-runner and scored on a single by Brady Smith to give the Woodies the 12-11 win.
Englert took the no-decision, pitching four innings while allowing four runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Connor Sechler pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) with five walks and three strikeouts. Destin Dotson pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Eudrys Mañon (W, 1-0) pitched one inning, allowing one unearned run on one hit with one walk.
The series continues tomorrow, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. RHP Nick Krauth (3-5, 4.33) gets the ball for the Wood Ducks and RHP TJ Shook (3-1, 4.50) will start for the 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!