Wood Ducks even series with Hillcats, 4-2

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (DEWDS) – The Down East Wood Ducks got a terrific spot start from Alex Eubanks to even the series at Lynchburg with a 4-2 win Monday at City Stadium Complex.

Down East (40-18) now has a magic number of five to clinch the first half title in the Carolina League Southern Division.

Eubanks (win, 5-1) worked five scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and a walk, and facing just two over the minimum, while striking out four. He now leads the Wood Ducks staff in victories.

The Woodies provided him support beginning in the fourth, when Down East put together a two-out rally. Sam Huff walked, and then stole second, and came into score one batter later on a Yohel Pozo single to left, to go ahead, 1-0.

Down East added on two more runs in the fifth against Juan Hillman. Eric Jenkins led off with a walk, and then Yonny Hernandez beat out a single to second, on which Wilbis Santigao threw the ball away, to push two runners into scoring positon. One batter later Leody Taveras split the gap in right-center to score two, and put Down East ahead, 3-0.

Hillman (2-5) gave up three runs (two earned), on six hits, he walked three and struck out two, over five innings of work.

Lynchburg (28-28) would respond against Cole Uvila in the sixth. Luke Wakamatsu led off with a walk, and after a Jodd Carter single, Nolan Jones hit a ball off the wall in right-center to push across Wakamatsu and put Lynchburg on the board, 3-1.

The Wood Ducks got the run back quickly. Jenkins singled to lead off the seventh, and then stole second and third. With the infield in, Taveras looped a single over second to push the lead to 4-1.

Lynchburg made one more rally late. Wakamatsu again reached on a leadoff walk against Michael Matuella in the eighth, and later in the inning, came home on a Jones single through the right side. Corey Ragsdale turned to Joe Kuzia (save, 3), who came out of the bullpen to strand a pair in the eighth. He would go on to record a five out save, picking up a strikeout in the process.

The Wood Ducks and Hillcats will play the rubber game of the three game series Tuesday night at City Stadium, with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. Right-hander Jason Bahr (4-1, 2.11) will make the start for the Woodies, opposed by Lynchburg righty Matt Solter (4-0, 1.93). The pregame show will begin at 6:20 p.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online at 960thebull.com as well as on the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio Apps.