MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (DEWDS) – The Wood Ducks received a strong start from Sal Mendez and backed it with solid relief efforts from Scott Engler and Joe Kuzia, to defeat Myrtle Beach, 1-0, Thursday.
It’s the second time in three days that Down East (48-19) has won a ballgame, 1-0, and the fourth such victory this season. As a team, they have not allowed an earned run over their last 28 innings of work.
The only run in the ballgame came in the fourth inning against Erich Uelmen (1-2). Leody Taveras reached on a walk, and then Ryan Dorow followed with an infield single to put runners at first and second. Diosbel Arias then traded places with Dorow at first following a fielder’s choice, and Taveras moved to third on the play. With runners at the corners, Julio Pablo Martinez bounced a high chopper up the first base line that died in front of Cam Balego for an infield single, and Taveras scored on the play to make it 1-0.
Uelmen suffered the tough-luck loss going six innings, giving up just one run on four hits, he walked three and struck out two.
Mendez (win, 3-0) got the Woodies out to a great start, setting down the first ten men he faced. He went on to allow just two hits over six innings, walking two and striking out two.
Engler took over for Mendez and worked 1.2 scoreless in relief, exiting in the eighth with two outs and the tying run at second base. Kuzia (save, 5) came out of the bullpen, and after walking Carlos Sepulveda, Miguel Amaya lined a ball down the right-field line, but Yanio Perez made a diving catch to preserve the lead. Kuzia stayed on for the ninth, pitching around a two-out single to seal the win.
The Wood Ducks tallied five hits in the game, but none left the infield. Bubba Thompson also made his return to the lineup, going 0-for-3 with a walk, after missing nearly two months with a broken hamate bone.
The series continues Friday when the Wood Ducks send lefty Jake Latz (5-1, 1.93) to the mound to face off with Pelicans right-hander Javier Assad (2-5, 3.54). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and the broadcast will begin at 6:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online on 960thebull.com, as well as the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio App.