FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (DEWDS) – Despite trailing 4-0 in the early going, the Wood Ducks scored four runs in the eighth inning, and then three in the tenth, to complete a comeback 9-6 victory over Fayetteville on Friday night.
The win marks the eighth in a row for Down East (21-8), and the ninth in comeback fashion this season. They are now 4-0 on the season against the Woodpeckers (15-14), with all four wins coming in the final at-bat.
Trailing 5-2, the Woodies sent eight men to the plate in the eighth inning. Eric Jenkins jumpstarted the inning with a bunt single, and then Yonny Hernandez drew a walk. Leody Taveras followed with an RBI single through the right side to score Jenkins and make it 5-3. After a walk to Anderson Tejeda to load the bases, Ryan Dorow came through, driving in two with a broken bat single back up the middle to tie the score at 5-5. Dorow reached base in all five trips to the plate in the ballgame. With runners at the corners, Dorow took off running and got in a rundown between first and second, allowing Tejeda to steal home, putting the Woodies on top, 6-5.
The lead was short lived. In the bottom of the eighth, with Joe Barlow (win, 3-0) pitching, Julio Pablo Martinez dropped a fly ball to right field allowing Jonathan Arauz to make it to third base with only one out. One batter later, Scott Manea lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to tie the score at 6-6.
Neither team would score in the ninth and the ballgame would move to extra innings. In the top of the tenth, Taveras started at second base, and then Tejeda and Dorow walked to load the bases. Then with two away, Yanio Perez hit a hard ground ball to third, on which Jake Adams made a diving stop but threw the ball down the right field line, allowing all three runners to come into score, as the Woodies went ahead, 9-6.
Demarcus Evans (save, 4) would come on to finish the ballgame in the home tenth. He walked the first man he faced, but rebounded to strike out the next three batters to earn the save.
Noah Bremer started for the Wood Ducks. He went six innings, giving up four runs on six hits, walked one and matched a career-high with eight strikeouts. All four runs allowed came in the second inning when the Woodpeckers batted around. Bryan De Le Cruz and Seth Beer each plated two run singles in the inning.
Parker Mushinski got the start for the ‘Peckers. He lasted 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits, walked two, and struck out a career-high ten. The Woodies got to him for the first time in the fourth, when Dorow worked a one-out walk, and Martinez drove him in with a triple down the left-field line. They added another run in the sixth on an RBI groundout from Diosbel Arias, to bring in Taveras, who led off the inning with a single.
The teams will play the middle game of the three-game series, Saturday night at 5 p.m. Right-hander Jason Bahr (1-0, 1.69) will make the start for the Wood Ducks, opposed by righty J.P. France (0-3, 5.19) for the Woodpeckers. 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 App.