ZEBULON, N.C. (DEWDS) – Jake Latz struck out a season-high nine in his fourth consecutive quality start to lead the Wood Ducks to a 1-0 victory over Carolina on Sunday at Five County Stadium.
Down East (34-17) struck in the first inning and never looked back, while Carolina (29-21) stranded 11 men on base, going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and stranded 11 on base, despite out-hitting the Woodies, 7-4.
The Wood Ducks got on the board in the first inning, striking first for the third straight night. Yonny Hernandez began the inning with a single to left, and Leody Taveras followed with a double down the left field line, to put two in scoring position. Two batters later, Diosbel Arias lifted a sac fly to center field, his 27th RBI of the year, to score Hernadez, and give the Woodies the lead.
Down East would add an unearned run in the third. Julio Pablo Martinez walked with one away and then moved to second on a groundout, and to third on an error as part of the same play. Taveras would then reach first on a walk, and then the duo pulled off a double steal, with Martinez stealing home, and Taveras making it safely into second base, to make it 2-0.
The Mudcats would get a run back in the home half of the third. Ryan Aguilar lifted a solo home run to right field, his second of the year, to make it a 2-1 game.
That was the only run that Latz (3-1) would allow. He finished with five innings of work, giving up one run on three hits. He walked four and struck out a season-best nine. He has now won his last three starts and allowed just two earned runs over his last 20 innings of work.
The Wood Ducks would get to Braden Webb one more time in the fifth. Yanio Perez led off the inning with a double to left-center, and he came into score on an RBI single from Hernandez two batters later, to make it 3-1.
Webb (loss, 0-1) worked five innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits, he walked four, and struck out five.
Alex Eubanks then fired three scoreless innings in relief, striking out two, while Joe Kuzia (save, 1) picked up his first save of the year with a perfect ninth inning, in which he picked up a strikeout.
The Wood Ducks go for the series win Monday against the Mudcats, as they send right-hander Reid Anderson (2-1, 3.48) to the mound to face off with fellow righty Dylan File (4-4, 3.73). First pitch is set for 12 p.m., and the pregame show will hit the air at 11:50 a.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online at 960thebull.com as well as on the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio Apps.