Four-run fifth leads Wood Ducks to 4-1 win over Hillcats

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KINSTON, N.C. (DEWDS) – The Down East Wood Ducks took advantage of defensive miscues Saturday night, on their way to scoring four runs in the fifth inning, in a 4-1 win over the Hillcats in front of 2,349 at Grainger Stadium.

Trailing 1-0, Yanio Perez led off the fifth with a double to right center, and then two batters later, Melvin Novoa reached on a fielding error by Nolan Jones at third base. Yonny Hernandez then followed with a safety squeeze attempt, but it went right back to the mound and Perez was cut down at home. Bubba Thompson then bounced a ball to third that looked like it would end the inning, but Jones’ throw was wide and two runs came into score, as the Woodies took their first lead of the series. Eric Jenkins then reached on a dropped third strike, and Anderson Tejeda followed with a two-run single to make it 4-0. Tejeda finished the game with three hits and reached base all four times up.

Reid Anderson started for the Wood Ducks (6-4) and faced the minimum the first time through the order. He battled control issues hover in the fourth inning, walking three, including a bases-loaded walk to Jonathan Laureano which forced in a run. Anderson lasted 4.2 innings giving up just the one run, on one hit, he walked five, and struck out three, and did not factor in the decision.

Josh Advocate (win, 2-0) came in to strand a pair of Anderson’s baserunners in the fifth and ended up working 2.1 in relief, giving up a hit and striking out three to pick up the win. Joe Barlow struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning out of the bullpen and then Emmanuel Clase (save, 1) picked up two more strikeouts in a three-up-three-down ninth to earn his first save of the year.

Hillcats (7-3) starter Juan Hillman (loss, 1-1) suffered the loss despite only allowing four unearned runs to score, he allowed four hits and a walk, while striking out six, in six innings of work.

Down East will look to earn a series split in the finale tomorrow to cap an 11-game homestand. Right-hander Noah Bremer (0-1, 7.71) will make his second start of the season for the Woodies, opposed by fellow righty Justin Garza (1-1, 6.48) for the Hillcats. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. and the broadcast will begin at 12:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull and online at 960thebull.com as well as on the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio Apps. The Wood Ducks will play their second Copa game of the season as the Patos Joyuyos, and it’s also a Cricket Wireless Sunday Funday, complete with pregame autographs, and postgame kids-run-the-bases. For tickets and more information visit woodducksbaseball.com or call (252) 686-5172.