Wood Ducks’ pitching staff struggles in loss to Myrtle Beach

Down East Wood Ducks

(Logos from Down East Wood Ducks and Myrtle Beach Pelicans; Jason O. Boyd, WNCT illustration)

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Thanks to eight runs in two innings, the Down East Wood Ducks fell to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 9-4 Thursday night.

With a homerun and two RBIs, Alejandro Osuna was named the Suddenlink Player of the Game.

For the third time this series the Wood Ducks (29-21) got on the scoreboard first, tonight in the top of the first against Pelicans’ starter Richard Gallardo. With one out, Luisangel Acuña reached on a throwing error by Myrtle Beach second baseman, Flemin Bautista. Acuña then stole second and scored on a Dustin Harris double in the ensuing at-bat to put Down East ahead 1-0.

The Wood Ducks added some insurance runs in the top of the second. With one out, Thomas Saggese worked a walk and Osuna followed with a two-run homerun, his first of the season, to give the Woodies a 3-0 lead.

Abdiel Mendoza (L, 1-3) struggled after a scoreless first inning. He surrendered a run in the second and four in the bottom of the third as Myrtle Beach (22-28) jumped ahead 5-3.

The Down East bats responded right away in the top of the fourth. Cristian Inoa blasted a solo home run, the second of the day for the Wood Ducks, to cut the deficit to 5-4.

The bullpen for the Wood Ducks worked themselves into a jam in the bottom of the fourth. Nick Lockhart started the inning in relief of Mendoza and couldn’t find the strike one at all as he allowed four earned runs with two outs as Myrtle Beach took a 9-4 lead. Marc Church finally stopped the bleeding as he got the final out to end a disastrous fourth inning.

Mendoza (1-3) took the loss after pitching three innings, allowing five runs on five hits with two walks and one strikeout. Lockhart pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowing four runs on one hit with three walks. Church pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit with five strikeouts. John Matthews pitched the final two innings with just one walk allowed and one strikeout.

The series continues Thursday with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Leury Tejada (1-2, 5.01) gets the ball for the Wood Ducks and RHP Manuel Espinoza (2-4, 3.78) will toe the rubber for the Pelicans.

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!

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