KINSTON, N.C. (DEWDS) – Yohel Pozo led off the ninth inning by crushing a 3-2 fastball over the wall in left field to lift the Down East Wood Ducks to a walk-off 6-5 victory over the Frederick Keys Saturday night at Grainger Stadium.
The walk-off victory was the Wood Ducks (27-15, 77-35) seventh this season, and third against Frederick (15-26, 44-66) in just six meetings.
The Wood Ducks got on the board with a big third inning. Josh Altmann led off with a single, and Bubba Thompson followed with a single to left. Sam Huff then ripped a double down the left field line to score two, and put the Woodies in front. Two batters later Curtis Terry ripped an RBI double to right-center, and later in the frame, Julio Pablo Martinez added a RBI double to the wall in center field, as the Wood Ducks went up, 4-0.
Down East would add a run in the fourth against Brenan Hanifee. Sherten Apostel tripled to center to begin the inning, and one batter later, Altmann lined a sac fly to score him, making it 5-0.
Hanifee would give up four runs on seven hits in six innings of work. He walked one, struck out four, and retired the final nine batters that he faced.
The Keys would claw their way back against Alex Eubanks in the fifth. Robbie Thorburn led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and then came into score on a RBI single from Cole Billingsley. After a walk to Zach Jarrett, Robert Neustrom doubled down the left field line to plate two and make it 5-3. Then with two outs, Jomar Reyes lifted an RBI double to center field, scoring Neustrom to trim the lead to just one.
Eubanks would work five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, he walked three and struck out five.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Josh Advocate came back out for the seventh, and gave up a game-tying solo home run to Zach Jarrett to even the score at 5-5.
Michael Matuella (win, 5-2) came on for the top of the ninth, and with one out gave up a walk and a single, and then a double steal to put the go-ahead run 90 feet away. Matuella bounced back with a pair of strikeouts, fanning the side and keeping the ballgame tied.
After retiring six of the first seven batters he faced, five on strikeouts, Reed Hayes (loss, 0-1) gave up the leadoff homer to Pozo to lead off the ninth, his seventh home run of the year.
The Wood Ducks go for the series sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m. when they send right-hander Noah Bremer (2-0, 2.83) to the mound to face off with Keys righty David Lebron (2-4, 3.57). It’s Sunday Funday at Grainger Stadium presented by Cricket Wireless, featuring pregame autographs and postgame kids run the bases. 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. For tickets and more information visit woodducksbaseball.com, or call (252) 686-5172.