KINSTON, N.C. – The Down East Wood Ducks continue to struggle at home as they fell to the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers 5-3, Thursday night.
The Wood Ducks have lost three straight for the first time this season and have lost their last four games at Grainger Stadium.
After two scoreless innings, Kannapolis (10-28) opened the scoring in the top of the third with one run. Down East (22-16) answered right back to tie the game with a run of their own in the bottom of the third. With one out, Obie Ricumstrict singled and stole second. Luisangel Acuña tripled with two outs to score Ricumstrict and tie the game at one run apiece.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Kannapolis jumped back ahead of Down East in the top of the fifth. Harvin Mendoza led off with a solo homerun to put the Cannon Ballers ahead 2-1.
Down East took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Ricumstrict doubled and scored on a two-run blast by Antonio Cabello to put the Wood Ducks ahead 3-2.
Kannapolis continued to punish the Down East bullpen in the top of the seventh. The Cannon Ballers plated three runs to take a 5-3 lead.
Down East managed to get runners on first and second with only one out in the bottom of the ninth, but the rally fell short. Back-to-back fielder’s choice ground outs ended the game with the Woodies falling, 5-3.
Abdiel Mendoza took the no-decision as he pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts. John Matthews (L, 1-2) took the loss, pitching 2 1/3 innings while allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits with five strikeouts. Joshua Javier threw a scoreless 1 1/3 innings with a walk and three strikeouts. Marc Church pitched the final inning, allowing one hit and tallying one strikeout.
After going one-for-four with a homerun and two RBIs, Cabello earns tonight’s Suddenlink Player of the Game.
Down East continues their series with Kannapolis Friday with first pitch set for 7 p.m. The Wood Ducks will send RHP Tekoah Roby (2-2, 2.45) to the mound and the Cannon Ballers will counter with RHP Jose Valles (1-0, 7.15).
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!