KINSTON, NC - Thanks to another fantastic pitching performance from the staff, Down East won Game 1 of the Southern Division Championship Series over Myrtle Beach 4-1. In addition to the pitching, the Woodies had the lead two pitches into the contest thanks to Matt Lipka's leadoff home run.
Jonathan Hernandez, Jeffrey Springs, and CD Pelham combined for 10 strikeouts and only one earned run allowed to the Pelican lineup that included rehabbing big league catcher, Willson Contreras.
In the early goings, Hernandez had to evade danger by twice leaving the bases loaded in the first two innings. He hit a grove from the second to the fourth by retiring 11 batters in a row.
Down East's offense struggled after Lipka's homer against MB starter Mike Rucker as he too retired 11 batters in a row. A rally began in the fourth on an infield single from Yanio Perez. The dribbler led to five consecutive hits including a two-run double from Carlos Garay and an RBI single from Evan Van Hoosier. The Woodies led 4-0 through four innings.
The only run for the Pelicans came in the sixth on a two-strike RBI double from Roberto Caro. Jeffrey Springs would add two strikeouts to end the sixth inning as the run was charged to Hernandez.
CD Pelham made his Wood Ducks debut in the eighth and retired all six batters he faced in order. He also struck out his first batter at the Hi-A level and earned the save.
Now the Woodies can claim the Southern Division crown on Friday in Myrtle Beach. With the modified series, tomorrow will be a seven-inning game at 5:05 for Game 2 of the series. If the Pelicans were to win, Game 3 would be held 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 2.
You can listen to every pitch live on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull or streamed on the TuneIn Radio app.