Wood Ducks take two from Mudcats, extend to three games

Down East Wood Ducks
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ZEBULON, N.C. – The Down East Wood Ducks kept their playoff hopes alive with a doubleheader sweep of the Carolina Mudcats, Friday night.

The Wood Ducks took game one, 6-5 in extra innings, and 5-4 in game two. The Down East bullpen combined for seven scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts over both games to earn the Suddenlink Player of the Game.

In the first game, Down East (67-45) struck first in the top of the second against Carolina starter Jhoan Cruz. Cristian Inoa and Cody Freeman started the inning with back-to-back singles. Thomas Saggese walked to load the bases. Valentin doubled to score both Inoa and Freeman for the 2-0 lead. With runners on second and third, Yenci Peña hit a sac fly to score Saggese to give the Wood Ducks a 3-0 lead.

Carolina cut the lead in the bottom of the third with two runs to make the score 3-2.

In the fifth, the Wood Ducks extended their lead. Alejandro Osuna and Daniel Mateo worked walks to put runners on first and second. With one out, Luisangel Acuña reached on an error that allowed Osuna to score to increase the Down East lead to 4-2 and Mateo advanced to third. With Inoa batting, Acuña stole second (44). Following the stolen base, Inoa hit a sac fly that scored Mateo from third to give the Woodies a 5-2 lead.

Once again the Mudcats were able to answer the call, as they added two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to tie the game at 5.

In extras, the Wood Ducks took the lead in the top of the eighth. With Jose Acosta starting at second, he advanced to third on a one-out single by Saggese. With two outs, Peña singled to score Acosta and Down East took the 6-5 lead.

John Matthews took the no-decision, pitching five innings while allowing five runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Destin Dotson (W, 3-0) earned the win, pitching three scoreless innings with four strikeouts.

In game two, Down East opened the scoring in the top of the first. Mateo led off with a walk and stole second (11). Aaron Zavala singled to center and Mateo scored from second to put the Woodies ahead 1-0.

The Wood Ducks increased their lead in the top of the second. Keyber Rodriguez led off with a triple. Randy Florentino walked and Acosta was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Mateo grounded into a fielder’s choice, Rodriguez scored for the 2-0 lead but Acosta was out at second. After Mateo was caught stealing, a wild pitch scored Florentino from third to put Down East up 3-0.

Carolina took the lead, plating a run in the bottom of the third and three in the bottom of the third to take a 4-3 lead.

Down East managed to tie the game in the top of the fourth. With one out, Mateo singled while Zavala and Saggese worked walks to load the bases. After a mound visit, Inoa hit a sac fly to score Mateo to tie the game at four.

The Wood Ducks took another late lead in the top of the seventh. Freeman led off with a walk and went to third on an infield single by Angel Aponte. With runners at the corners, Rodriguez doubled to score Freeman to put the Wood Ducks ahead 5-4.

Mason Englert pitched three innings, allowing four runs on six hits with four strikeouts. Michael Brewer (W, 1-1) took the win, pitching three scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Eudrys Mañon (S, 5) tossed one scoreless inning with three strikeouts.

The series continues Saturday with first pitch set for 5 p.m. RHP Nick Krauth (5-7, 3.94) gets the ball for the Wood Ducks and Carolina will start RHP Zach Mort (3-1, 4.43).

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!

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