KINSTON, N.C. – After falling in game one, 1-0, the Down East Wood Ducks won game two of their doubleheader with the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, 7-0.
John Matthews (W, 4-4) spun 5 2/3 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts and Josh Stephan tossed five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts in his Wood Ducks debut earning the Suddenlink Players of the Game.
The Wood Ducks and Cannon Ballers played a tight contest in game one of the doubleheader. After six scoreless innings, Kannapolis (32-73) plated the only run of the game on a bases-loaded walk in the top of the seventh to take the 1-0 lead.
In his Wood Ducks debut, Stephan took the no-decision, pitching five scoreless innings with three hits allowed and seven strikeouts. Connor Sechler (L, 3-1) took the loss, pitching two innings, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
In game two, Down East (61-44) plated the first run in the bottom of the second. Jose Acosta led off with a single and advanced to third on a single by Angel Aponte. On the play, Aponte advanced to second on a throwing error by Kannapolis left fielder Chase Krogman. Yenci Peña singled to score Acosta for the 1-0 lead.
The Wood Ducks added to their lead in the bottom of the third. Keyber Rodriguez was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Aponte singled to score Rodriguez for the 2-0 lead. IN the ensuing at-bat, Aponte stole second and scored on a double by Peña to give Down East the 3-0 lead.
Down East continued to add to their lead in the bottom of the fifth. Thomas Saggese led off with a triple and scored on a sac fly by Aponte to give the Wood Ducks a 4-0 lead.
The Wood Ducks blew the game open in the bottom of the sixth. Randy Florentino and Alejandro Osuna started the inning with back-to-back singles. Daniel Mateo, who entered as a defensive sub for Easley in the top of the sixth, singled to load the bases. Cody Freeman hit a two-run single with the bases loaded to push the Woodies lead to 6-0 and Mateo advanced to second. A wild pitch allowed runners to advance to second and third. With two outs and runners on second and third, Acosta walked to load the bases. During the at-bat of Aponte, Mateo scored the seventh run on a wild pitch and that is where the scoring ended.
Matthews (W, 4-4) earned his fourth win of the season as he pitched a season-high 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits with one walk and ten strikeouts. Eudrys Mañon shut the door, tossing 1 1/3 scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
The series continues Friday with first pitch set for 7:00 p.m. RHP Mason Englert (6-3, 4.46) will get the ball for Down East and Kannapolis will counter with RHP Andrew Dalquist (2-9, 5.02).
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!