KINSTON, N.C. – The Down East Wood Ducks split their doubleheader with the Carolina Mudcats, Thursday night at Grainger Stadium. The Woodies fell in game one, 2-1 but salvaged game two with a walk-off win, 4-3.
After five scoreless innings, Down East (25-19) got on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Thomas Saggese blasted his second home run of the season to put the Wood Ducks ahead, 1-0.
Carolina (27-16) answered in the top of the seventh with two runs to hand another home loss to the Wood Ducks.
Wyatt Sparks had a fantastic outing but took the no-decision. He pitched six scoreless innings, allowing two hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Spencer Mraz (L, 2-2) blew his third save opportunity of the season. He pitched one inning, allowing two runs on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
In game two of the doubleheader, the Mudcats opened the scoring in the top of the first with a run. The Wood Ducks answered right away in the bottom of the first. Luisangel Acuña led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a groundout moved Acuña to third, he scored on a groundball by Cody Freeman to tie the game at one.
Down East jumped ahead of the Mudcats in the bottom of the third. Antonio Cabello led off with a walk and Acuña followed with a walk to put runners on first and second. With one out, Freeman reached on a fielding error by Carolina shortstop Daniel Castillo, which allowed Cabello to score from third to put the Woodies ahead, 2-1.
Carolina took the lead in the top of the sixth against John Matthews as they plated two runs for the 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Antonio Cabello reached on an error to start the inning. With one out, Harris walked to put runners on first and second. A wild pitch allowed Cabello and Harris to move up to second and third. During the at-bat of Freeman, a wild pitch allowed Cabello to score the tying run and Harris scored the winning run on a 3-2 wild pitch to give the Wood Ducks their third walk-off win of the season.
Abdiel Mendoza took the no-decision but pitched brilliantly. He went five innings, allowing one run on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Matthews (W, 2-2) took the loss, pitching two innings and allowing two runs on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
The series continues tomorrow between the Wood Ducks and Mudcats with first pitch at 7:00 p.m. RHP Leury Tejada (1-2, 2.91) will make his first start of the season for Down East and Carolina will counter with LHP Brendan Murphy (3-1, 3.25)
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!