ZEBULON, N.C. (DEWDS) – Demarcus Evans struck out two to strand the bases loaded in the ninth and force extras, and the Wood Ducks took the lead in the tenth but were unable to hold it, as Carolina came back to win, 6-5, in ten innings on Friday.
The Woodies (32-17) suffer their second walk-off loss of the season, while the walk-off win for the Mudcats (29-19) was their sixth of the year.
In the top of the tenth, Eric Jenkins pinch ran at second as the go-ahead runner. He advanced to third base when Yonny Hernandez was out trying to bunt his way aboard. Leody Taveras was then intentionally walked to put runners at the corners. Rodrigo Benoit (win, 5-0) then balked to push home a run and put the Wood Ducks ahead, 4-3. Later in the inning, after Taveras stole third, and Ryan Dorow walked and stole second, Benoit uncorked a wild pitch to bring a second home across and make it 5-3.
Michael Matuella (loss, 2-1) came in for the bottom of the tenth, and allowed back-to-back singles to Nick Roscetti and Peyton Henry, which brought home the inherited runner, Tristen Lutz to make it a one-run game. Matuella then hit Rob Henry to load the bases, and Devin Hairston was then walked to force in a run, tying the ballgame at 5-5. Joantgel Segpvia then lined a single to left, to walk it off for Carolina.
The Woodies got on the board first tonight with an Anderson Tejeda home run to right field, his fourth of the year, in the second to put Down East ahead, 1-0. The Woodies increased the lead in the fifth, when Julio Pablo Martinez went deep to left field against Matt Smith, his second long ball of the year, to make it 2-0.
Smith worked five innings, allowing two runs on three hits, struck out two and did not walk a batter.
John King was sharp in his third start of the season for the Wood Ducks. The lefty did not allow a run through the first four innings, but then allowed a pair of singles in the fifth. With two out, Segovia lifted a fly ball to left-center, which the Wood Ducks outfield lost in the sky, allowing two runs to score, tying the ballgame at 2-2. One batter later, Ryan Aguilar ripped a single inside of the first base bag, putting Carolina in front, 3-2.
King went five innings, allowing three runs on six hits, did not walk a batter, and matched a career-high with nine strikeouts.
The Wood Ducks drew even in the eighth. After Taveras reached on an error, Dorow took his spot at first base following a fielder’s choice. Diosbel Arias then laced a double to the wall in left to tie the score at 3-3.
After two scoreless innings from Cole Uvila, he allowed a leadoff double to Lutz in the eighth. Evans then came out of the bullpen and struck out the side. He stayed on for the ninth, walking three, including an intentional walk to load the bases, but picked up two more strikeouts to force extras.
The Wood Ducks and Mudcats will play game two of their four-game series Saturday at 5 p.m. Lefty Sal Mendez (1-0, 2.45) will make the start for Down East, opposed by Carolina righty Noah Zavolas (2-2, 3.33). The broadcast will begin at 4:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online on 960thebull.com as well as on the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio Apps.