ZEBULON, N.C. – After sweeping the doubleheader Friday, the Down East Wood Ducks struggled as they fell 14-10 to the Carolina Mudcats, Saturday night.
Carolina clubbed three home runs against Down East pitchers and all four allowed at least two runs.
Carolina (65-48) struck first in the bottom of the first with one run against Down East starter Nick Krauth (L, 5-8).
Down East (67-46) tied the game in the top of the second. With one out, Cody Freeman tripled and scored on a sac fly by Keyber Rodriguez to tie the game at one.
The Mudcats retook their lead with two runs in the bottom of the third to make the score 3-1.
The Wood Ducks didn’t quit as they plated two runs in the top of the fourth. With two outs, Cristian Inoa singled and advanced to second on a single by Freeman. Rodriguez followed with a two-run triple to tie the game at three.
Carolina blew the game open with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and then plated six runs in the bottom of the fifth to take an 11-3 lead.
The Woodies tried to slowly climb their way back, plating four runs in the top of the sixth. With one out, Luisangel Acuña walked and advanced to second on a single by Inoa. After a strikeout, Rodriguez walked to load the bases. Xavier Valentin cleared the bases with a three-run double to cut the deficit to 11-6 and Angel Aponte singled to score Valentin to make it 11-7.
In the seventh, Down East added one more run. Aaron Zavala doubled, advanced to third on a groundout by Acuña, and then scored on a sac fly by Inoa to make the score 11-8.
The Mudcats added to their lead with a run in the bottom of the seventh and two more in the bottom of the eighth to increase their lead to 14-8.
The Wood Ducks tried to rally in the top of the ninth but fell short. Alejandro Osuna led off with a solo home run (6) to bring the score to 14-9. Daniel Mateo singled but was forced out at second on a fielder’s choice by Zavala. Zavala advanced to second on defensive indifference but was tagged out trying to advance to third on a ground ball by Acuña. After Acuña advanced on defensive indifference, he scored on a single by Inoa to make the score 14-10.
Krauth (L, 5-8) tossed four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits with one walk and one strikeout. Mason Cole struggled again out of the bullpen, tossing 1/3 of an inning while allowing five runs on two hits with three walks. Theo McDowell pitched two innings, allowing two runs on one hit with one walk and six strikeouts. Connor Sechler pitched the final 1 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits with three strikeouts.
Down East and Carolina wrap up their series Sunday at 1 p.m. RHP Owen White (1-1, 3.66) gets the ball for the Wood Ducks and RHP Brailian Rodriguez (0-0, 3.00) will start for Carolina.
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 – 9 am – 4 pm). Make sure to follow your Down East Wood Ducks on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so you don’t miss anything!