Mendez leads Wood Ducks past Mudcats, 1-0

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KINSTON, N.C. (DEWDS) – A first inning run was all the support the Wood Ducks pitching staff needed as they rode that lead to the finish line in a 1-0 win over the Carolina Mudcats Wednesday afternoon at Grainger Stadium.

The win is the Wood Ducks (19-13, 69-33) 16th shutout victory of the season, and fifth that has come as a 1-0 final.

The Woodies got on the board in the first inning against Aaron Ashby. Sam Huff reached on an error with one out and then stole second. After a walk to Diosbel Arias, Curtis Terry singled to right-center to score Huff, and put the Woodies on top, 1-0.

Despite the run in the first, Ashby (loss, 2-5) was solid overall, giving up the unearned run over 5.1 innings, he walked two, and struck out five.

The Woodies pitching, however, was even better. Sal Mendez (win, 6-0) fired five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and a walk, while striking out five. He improves his league-best ERA to 2.05. Mendez faced just three over the minimum in his outing.

The Wood Ducks bullpen was just as good. Jefferson Medina returned from the IL to work two perfect innings, striking out three, and then Josh Advocate delivered a perfect eighth inning, including a pair of strikeout. After blowing his first save of the season, Sunday, Joe Kuzia (save, 15) bounced back, working a scoreless ninth inning, and rolling a 5-4-3 double-play ball to end the ballgame.

The Wood Ducks and Mudcats will play a double-header Thursday to close out their three-game series. Game one will start at 5 p.m., with game two beginning approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one. Both games will be seven-inning contests. The pitching matchup in game one with feature righty Noah Zavolas (5-5, 3.09) against righty Reid Anderson (5-5, 3.84). Game two will be righty Nelson Hernandez (10-6, 4.54) for Carolina, facing off with Wood Ducks righty Tim Brennan (2-0, 2.45). It’s Thirsty Thursday at Grainger Stadium, with $ Busch Light and Natty Light cans presented by Budweiser. The broadcast will begin at 4:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online at 960thebull.com as well as on the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio apps. For tickets and more information visit woodducksbaseball.com or call (252) 686-5172.