ZEBULON, N.C. (DEWDS) – The Down East Wood Ducks jumped on the board early and were able to pick up big insurance runs in the final two innings, to stave off the Mudcats and win 4-3 for the second straight day.
Down East (25-14, 75-34) now has a record of 27-13 in one-run contests this season, and has won 11 straight against Carolina (16-24, 55-54).
The Wood Ducks struck for a run in the first inning. Bubba Thompson led off the frame with a single to center field, and then Sam Huff ripped a double off the wall in left to put two runners in scoring position. Diosbel Arias then followed with a sacrifice fly to put Down East up 1-0. The double for Huff extended his hitting streak to 18 consecutive games.
Carolina answered quickly in the home first against Reid Anderson. Brice Turang led off with a walk, and with two outs, Peyton Henry belted a double off the batters eye in center field to score Turang from first to even the score at 1-1.
That was the only run that Anderson (win, 6-5) would allow. He went five innings, giving up four hits, he walked one and struck out six.
With two outs in the sixth inning the Wood Ducks reclaimed the lead. Curtis Terry blasted a go-ahead home run to left for the second straight day to make it 2-1 Down East. It was Terry’s sixth homer with the Woodies, and 21st overall on the season.
Nelson Hernandez (loss, 10-8) started for Carolina, and suffered the loss despite a quality outing. He gave up two runs on five hits over seven innings, walked one, and struck out four.
The Wood Ducks also picked up a big insurance run in the eighth. Eric Jenkins led off with a single to right, and Thompson followed with a double off the wall in left. Later in the frame Arias grounded into a fielder’s choice to score a run and make it 3-1.
Carolina got the run right back in the home eighth on a solo home run from Mario Feliciano, his league-leading 16th of the season to make it 3-2.
Again the Wood Ducks picked up an add-on run in the ninth. Josh Altmann reached on a two-out error, stole second, and came into score on a Tyler Depreta-Johnson RBI single to make it 4-2.
Michael Matuella (save, 3) came on for the ninth. After a strikeout to start the inning, he gave up a single to Eddie Silva followed by a walk to Rob Henry. Both runners advanced into scoring position, setting up Trever Morrison for a sac fly to once again make it a one-run ballgame. Matuella would strand the tying run at second with a ground ball to end the contest and seal the 4-3 win.
Down East will go for the series sweep Thursday when they send lefty John King (2-2, 2.03) to the mound to face off with Mudcats righty Noah Zavolas (5-5, 3.07). First pitch is set for 7 p.m. and the pregame show will begin at 6:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull and online at 960thebull.com as well as on the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio apps.