The Down East Wood Ducks surrendered two first inning runs without the benefit of a hit, and were unable to cash in with runners in scoring position, as they fell to the Mudcats 2-1 Saturday at historic Grainger Stadium.
All of the scoring took place in the opening frame. Down East (1-2) starter A.J. Alexy (loss, 0-1) struggled to find the strike zone early, loading the bases on two walks and a hit batsman before recording an out. Later in the inning, he would walk Mario Feliciano with the bases loaded to force in a run, and a second run would come across on a Ryan Aguilar fielder’s choice.
That would be all the support Carolina (2-1) starter Noah Zavolas (win, 1-0) would need. He worked five innings giving up a run on six hits, walked four, and struck out one, picking up the win in his debut for the Brewers organization.
The lone run against him came in the home first. With two away, Leody Taveras blooped a single down the left field line. He then stole second, and came in to score on an Anderson Tejeda single back up the middle. Taveras notched his third multi-hit game of the season, going 2-4 on the night.
Alexy bounced back after the first to work 3.1 innings, giving up just one hit, he allowed two runs, struck out four, and walked three.
The Wood Ducks were unable to cash in on opportunities as the game went on. They singled three times in the second inning, but Ryan Dorow was picked off of second, and Yonny Hernandez was caught stealing third to end the threat.
The Woodies also had a golden chance in the seventh inning when they loaded the bases with one away. That’s when Carolina turned to Matt Hardy who came in to pick up a strikeout and groundout, stranding the tying, and go-ahead runs on base. Down East struck out 13 times on the night, and went just 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
The Wood Ducks bullpen was excellent as a group. Francisco Villegas fired three scoreless innings, allowing just one baserunner, a walk, while striking out five. Josh Advocate then tossed 1.2 scoreless frames, giving up the only other hit of the night, without allowing a run to cross. Demarcus Evans made his first appearance of the year in impressive fashion, striking out the side in the ninth, on just twelve pitches.
The Woodies will look to earn a split with the Mudcats as the series concludes with a 1 p.m. start tomorrow afternoon. Right-hander Reid Anderson (0-0, -.--) will make the start for Down East, opposed by fellow righty Dylan File (0-0, -.--) for Carolina. It will kick off the Wood Ducks participation in Copa de la Diversion, as they will play as the Patos Joyuyos when they take the field on Sunday. Tomorrow’s broadcast will begin at 12:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull, and [960thebull.com]960thebull.com along with the MiLB First Pitch App and the TuneIn Radio App. For tickets and more information visit [woodducksbaseball.com]woodducksbaseball.com or call (252) 686-5172.