Wood Ducks sweep weekly awards

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KINSTON, N.C. (DEWDS) – Following a week in which the Wood Ducks went 5-1, two players were recognized with weekly honors. Diosbel Arias was named Player of the Week, and Jake Latz was named Pitcher of the Week, the Carolina League announced Monday.

The duo joins Tyler Phillips, Yonny Hernandez, and Ryan Dorow to earn league recognition this season. The five total weekly award winners matches the total received by the club over the entire 2018 campaign.

Arias began the week with a four-hit ballgame against Carolina, in which he drove in three, to help the Wood Ducks to a series win, Monday. Arias also tallied a three-hit performance in the finale against Salem on Saturday, and overall on the week went 11-for-19 with three doubles and five runs batted in at the plate. Arias also walked five times on the week, while going down on strikes just twice. He raised his batting average from .291 to .317 in the process.

The Wood Ducks infielder now ranks among League Leaders in doubles (2nd, 16), hits (3rd, 66), AVG (4th, .317), total bases (4th, 89), RBI (9th, 32), and OPS (9th, .808). Arias also leads the Wood Ducks with 20 multi-hit games this season.

A native of La Habana, Cuba, Arias last year led the Northwest League in batting average and on-base percentage, while ranking second in OPS, playing for Spokane. He was recognized as both a Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star, as well as a MiLB.com Organizational All-Star for the Rangers.

Latz enjoyed his best start of the season against Salem on Saturday. Latz matched a career-high with seven innings pitched, and faced just two batters over the minimum, allowing one hit and two walks, without allowing a run to score. Latz also recorded nine strikeouts, doing so for the second straight start, and earning his fourth consecutive victory.

It has been a remarkable turnaround for Latz since joining the Woodies April 17. He stared his Carolina League career by allowing seven earned runs in 8.1 innings over the course of his first three starts. However, over his last five starts, Latz has given up just two earned runs over 27 innings, lowering his ERA from 7.56 to 2.29 over that span. He would rank third in the Carolina League in ERA if he had enough innings to qualify. He has also struck out 36, while walking just nine over that stretch.

The Lemont, Illinois native earned Pitcher of the Week recognition after his final start in Spokane last season, when he struck out a career-high 11, in 5.2 scoreless innings, to earn the victory over Vancouver.

The Wood Ducks (39-18) continue their series with the Hillcats (28-27) tonight at 6:30 p.m. Down East will send right-hander Jason Bahr (4-1, 2.11) to the mound to face off with Lynchburg lefty Juan Hillman (2-4, 2.68). The broadcast will begin at 6:20 p.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online on 960thebull.com as well as on the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio Apps.