KINSTON, N.C. – After falling in the first three games, the Down East Wood Ducks stormed back with a 15-2 win over the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, Friday night.
Obie Ricumstrict went three-for-five with one home run and five RBIs, earning the Suddenlink Player of the Game. The win ended a four-game losing streak, including three straight to Kannapolis.
The Wood Ducks (23-16) opened the scoring for the first time this series in the bottom of the third. With one out, Luisangel Acuña blasted a solo home run to put Down East ahead 1-0.
Kannapolis (10-29) answered with a run in the top of the fourth to tie the game at one.
Down East responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, chasing Jesus Valles (L, 1-1) from the game. Xavier Valentin led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Ricumstrict hit an infield single to put runners at the corners and then stole second. Valentin stole home on the throw to second to put the Woodies ahead 2-1. Alejandro Osuna followed with a double to score Ricumstrict for the 3-1 Down East lead.
The bats continued to work for the Wood Ducks as they added three insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth. Keyber Rodriguez and Dustin Harris started the inning with back-to-back singles. With one out, Valentin ripped a double to center field to score Rodriguez as Down East increased their lead to 4-1. With runners on second and third, Osuna singled to center to score Harris and Rodriguez for the 6-1 lead.
Down East blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth with six runs and sent 11 batters to the plate. Antonio Cabello started the inning with a double and Acuña walked to put runners on first and second. Rodriguez doubled to score Cabello and Acuña to push the lead to 8-1. Harris walked and Cristian Inoa reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases. Ricumstrict blasted a grand slam, his second home run of the series, to give the Wood Ducks the 12-1 lead.
Kannapolis added a run in the top of the seventh to cut the deficit to 12-2. The bottom of the seventh was another big inning for the Wood Ducks as they plated three more runs. Rodriguez started the inning with a double and advanced to third on a ground out by Harris. Inoa drove in Rodriguez with a sac fly to push the lead to 13-2. Valentin followed with a double and Ricumstrict continued his hot hitting with a single to score Valentin to extend the lead to 14-2. Osuna doubled in the ensuing at-bat to score Ricumstrict as Down East added to their commanding lead 15-2.
Tyree Thompson took the no-decision after throwing 3 1/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits with one walk and a season-high six strikeouts. Teodoro Ortega (W, 1-0) earned his first win of the season after pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings with one hit allowed and five strikeouts. Spencer Mraz (S, 4) earned his fourth save of the season, pitching the final three innings. He allowed one run on three hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Down East and Kannapolis continue their series tomorrow with first pitch set for 6:00 p.m. RHP Nick Krauth (0-1, 2.36) will toe the rubber for the Wood Ducks and Kannapolis will counter with LHP Bailey Horn (0-2, 2.84).
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!