ZEBULON, N.C. – After jumping out to a 4-0 lead early, the Down East Wood Ducks couldn’t hold the lead as the pitching staff surrendered seven runs between the third and fourth innings and fell 7-6 Thursday night, to the Carolina Mudcats, playing as the Carolina Micro Brews.
This marks the 10th lead surrendered loss for the Wood Ducks pitching staff this season.
Down East (38-31) got the scoring started right away in the top of the first against Carolina starter Abner Uribe. Jayce Easley led off with a walk and advanced to third as Luisangel Acuña reached first on a throwing error by Uribe. With runners at the corners and one out, Easley scored on a wild pitch for the 1-0 lead and Acuña moved to third. On the next pitch, Acuña scored the second run on a passed ball.
The Wood Ducks increased their lead, plating two more runs in the top of the second. With one out, Thomas Saggese walked, stole (6) second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He then scored on another wild pitch to increase the lead to 3-0. Randy Florentino then doubled and went to third on a ground out by Jose Acosta. With a runner on third, Easley singled to score Florentino to give Down East the 4-0 lead.
Carolina (42-27) responded with three runs in the bottom of the third and four runs in the bottom of the fourth against the Wood Ducks pitching staff to take a 7-4 lead.
Down East answered back in the top of the sixth. Angel Aponte hit a home run (2) on the first pitch of the inning to cut the deficit to 7-5.
The Wood Ducks continued to battle back as they plated another run in the top of the seventh. Acosta led off with a double and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Easley. With two outs, Acosta scored on a single by Cristian Inoa to bring the Woodies to within one, 7-6.
Down East’s rally fell short, as Acosta singled to start the inning and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Easley. Unfortunately, the Woodies were unable to score Acosta and stranded him at second to end the game.
Florencio Serrano took the no-decision, pitching 2 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Teodoro Ortega (L, 2-1) took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings of work. Eudrys Mañon pitched two scoreless innings, with one hit allowed and three strikeouts. Jesus Linarez contributed two perfect innings in relief with three strikeouts and did not allow a base runner.
The Wood Ducks look to get back in the win column as the series continues tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. RHP Mason Englert (4-3, 5.05) will get the ball for Down East and Carolina will counter with RHP Nick Belzer (6-2, 3.45).
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!