KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — After splitting four games with the current Carolina League North Division leader last week, the Down East Wood Ducks continue to do well against the top team in the South Division.

For the third straight game, the Wood Ducks beat the Columbia Fireflies, winning 3-1 on Thursday at Grainger Stadium. The Wood Ducks (26-18) stayed one-half game behind the Carolina Mudcats (27-18), winners of five straight, in the race for the top spot in the Carolina League North Division.

Good pitching once again helped the Wood Ducks. Joseph Montalvo (4-0) pitched 5.1 innings, giving up a run in the first inning while striking out seven. His 2.02 ERA is best on the team and third in the Carolina League. Three relievers gave up just one hit with four strikeouts and two walks the rest of the way.

Columbia (28-20) got its lone run in the first inning when Brett Squires grounded into a forceout that scored Jean Ramirez. Jesus Moreno tied it for Down East in the fifth with a solo homer, his first of the season. Cameron Cauley followed by reaching on a fielding error that allowed Zion Bannister to score, giving Down East a 2-1 lead.

Yosy Galan hit his team-leading seventh homer, a solo blast, in the eighth for a 3-1 Down East lead.

The two teams square off again Friday at 7 p.m.