Down East sweeps double-header, series against Mud Cats

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KINSTON, N.C. (DEWDS) - Final/8: Down East 3, Carolina 2
Win: Michael Matuella (4-2)
Loss: Anthony Bender (2-1)
Time: 2:24

Game 1

The Wood Ducks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Bubba Thompson led off the frame with a single to extend his hitting streak to eight straight games. Thompson then advanced to second on a walk and to third on a groundout, and came home to score on a Curtis Terry sacrifice fly to make it 1-0.

The Mudcats answered, and took the lead in the fourth inning. Reid Anderson gave up a single to Brice Turang and then a walk to Ryan Aguilar. With two outs, and both in scoring position after a double steal, Peyton Henry grounded a single back up the middle to put Carolina ahead, 2-1.

Anderson worked 5.2 innings, giving up two runs on two hits, he walked four and struck out five, and did not factor in the decision.

Still trailing 2-1, and down to the final out, Julio Pablo Martinez tied the score with a solo home run to right field, his tenth of the year off of Noah Zavolas, to end his night, and send the ballgame to extras.

Zavolas worked 6.2 innings, giving up two runs on five hits, he walked one and struck out three.

Michael Matuella (win, 4-2) struck out the side in the eighth inning, to get the Wood Ducks to the plate with a chance to win. Sherten Apostel began the inning at second base, and Josh Altmann, attempting to sac bunt, reached on an error to put runners at the corners. Sam Huff then came up as a pinch hitter and bounced a ball up the middle for an RBI single, and a walk-off 3-2 win. It was the Wood Ducks sixth walk-off victory of the year, and the third in which Huff collected the game-winning RBI.

Final/7: Down East 1, Carolina 0
Win: Tim Brennan (3-0)
Loss: Nelson Hernandez (10-7)
Time: 1:57

Game 2

Tim Brennan (win, 3-0) was outstanding for the Wood Ducks in game two. He fired the first complete-game shutout of the season, tossing seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk, while striking out three. Brenan used 12 groundball outs, and needed just 81 pitches to polish off the Mudcats on the night.

Brennan has now won each of his first three Carolina League outings, and sports an ERA of just 1.50. The only trouble he ran into was in the fourth, when he gave up a pair of hits, but stranded the bases loaded.

Josh Altmann then homered in the bottom half of the fourth inning, providing all of the offense of the night. The home run was Altmann’s second with the Woodies this season. Offensively, Sam Huff also singled to extend his hitting streak to 13 in a row, while Tyler Depreta-Johnson tallied the lone two-hit game.

Nelson Hernandez (loss, 10-7) pitched around traffic on the bases, stranding eight, but suffered the loss, giving up a run in 4.2 innings, on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five.

The shutout win for the Woodies was their 17th of the season, which is tied for the most in MiLB. It was also the Wood Ducks sixth 1-0 win of the year, and second of the series. Down East held Carolina to just four runs and nine hits over the three-game set, picking up their 11th series sweep of the season.

The Wood Ducks continue their home stand against the Wilmington Blue Rocks Friday at 7 p.m. when left-hander John King (2-2, 1.98) takes the mound to face off with Wilmington righty Jonathan Bowlan (4-1, 2.31). It’s Mother Earth Friday at Grainger Stadium, complete with postgame fireworks presented by WNCT. The pregame show will begin at 6:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online at as well as on the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio Apps. For tickets and more information visit or call (252) 686-5172.