KINSTON, N.C. – The Down East Wood Ducks bullpen struggled again as they fell to the Carolina Mudcats, 8-4, Wednesday night at Grainger Stadium.
This loss is the sixth time that the Woodies bullpen has surrendered the lead in a loss.
The Mudcats (26-15) opened the scoring two runs in the top of the first against Down East starter Gavin Collyer. Down East (24-18) answered in the bottom of the first with two runs.
Jayce Easley led off with a single and stole second. Luisangel Acuña walked and both runners advanced on a double steal. With runners on second and third, Dustin Harris grounded out but Easley scored from third to cut the deficit to 2-1 and Acuña moved to third. Keyber Rodriguez walked in the next at-bat and stole second to put runners at second and third with one out. Acuña scored the on a sac fly by Cody Freeman to tie the game at two.
Carolina plated a run and took the 3-2 lead in the top of the second but Down East answered with a run in the bottom of the third. Easley walked, stole second, then third, and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at three.
The Woodies took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Cody Freeman led off with a double and advanced to third on a single by Cristian Inoa. With one out, Obie Ricumstrict hit a sac fly to right field to score Freeman, which gave Down East the 4-3 lead.
The bullpen for Down East couldn’t hold the lead as they surrendered five unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Collyer took the no-decision as he pitched 2 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Florencio Serrano pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in his Down East debut to earn the Suddenlink Player of the Game. He did not allow a baserunner and struck out three batters.
Marc Church (L, 1-1) took the loss, after pitching one inning, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and one strikeout. Joshua Javier allowed three runs on one hit with two walks. He did not record an out in his appearance. Ben Anderson pitched two scoreless innings with one hit allowed and two strikeouts. In his debut with the Wood Ducks, Jesus Linarez pitched one scoreless inning, allowing one hit.
The Wood Ducks continue their series Thursday with the Mudcats. The teams will play a doubleheader to make up the postponed game on Tuesday. First pitch in game one is at 4:30 p.m. Down East will send RHP Wyatt Sparks (1-0, 4.08) in game one and Carolina will counter with RHP Miguel Guerrero (2-0, 3.98). In game two, the Woodies will send RHP Abdiel Mendoza (1-2, 4.33) while Carolina will send RHP Jhoan Cruz (2-4, 8.72).
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!