ZEBULON, N.C. – Thanks to a breakout game from Thomas Saggese, who finished with three hits and two RBI, the Down East Wood Ducks defeated the Carolina Mudcats 4-3 Tuesday night to snap their six-game win streak.
Tuesday marks the seventh time that these two teams have faced each other and the final score was decided by two runs or fewer.
The Wood Ducks swung the momentum back into their favor as they tied the game in the top of the fourth. After Saggese collected his first hit with the Wood Ducks in the top of the second, he led off the top of the fourth with a solo homerun, his first with Down East, to tie the game at three.
Down East opened the scoring in the top of the second against Carolina starter Nick Belzer (L, 0-1) in the top of the second. Cody Freeman started the top of the second with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Mudcats third baseman, Ashton McGee. Saggese followed with a single, his first hit with the Wood Ducks, to score Freeman from second to put the Woodies ahead 1-0. During the at-bat of Luisangel Acuña, Saggese stole second.
Acuña worked a walk to put runners on first and second and both runners advanced on a fly ball by Keithron Moss. With runners on second and third, Saggese scored after Antonio Cabello hit a line drive off the pitcher Belzer, to put Down East up 2-0.
The Wood Ducks took the lead in the top of the fifth and never looked back. Jayce Easley led off the inning with a single, stole second (10), and advanced to third on a throwing error by Carolina catcher, Alex Hall. Evan Carter hit a sac fly to center, which allowed Easley to score the go-ahead run to give the Woodies the 4-3 lead.
Abdiel Mendoza (1-2) earned the win after five innings pitched with three earned runs allowed on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Nic Laio was first out of the bullpen, finishing with three-no hit innings, one walk issued and three six strikeouts. Joe Corbett (S,3) pitched the final inning and tallied two strikeouts en route to his third save of the season.
The series continues tomorrow with first pitch at 7 p.m. Down East will give the ball to RH Wyatt Sparks (0-0, 4.60) and Carolina will start RH Justin Bullock (1-1, 1.80).
Fans can purchase tickets for the month of June and the rest of the season 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 -5pm). Make sure to follow your Down East Wood Ducks on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you don’t miss anything!