KINSTON, N.C. (DEWDS) – The Down East Wood Ducks had baserunners in eight of the nine innings but were held to just two runs in a 5-2 loss to Lynchburg on Thursday night at Grainger Stadium.
The Hillcats (6-2) took the lead in the third inning. Mike Rivera led off with a single, and Dillon Persinger followed with a two-run homer to left to make it 2-0. Lynchburg would add another run in the fourth as Gavin Collins led off with a single and then scored two batters later on a Rivera RBI groundout to push the advantage to three.
The Wood Ducks (5-3) responded with a run in the home fourth. Eric Jenkins led off with a walk, and after stealing second, came into score on a Leody Taveras RBI single, extending his hitting streak to eight in a row. The Wood Ducks missed an opportunity to add on more as Anderson Tejeda followed with a one-out double, but the Woodies stranded two in scoring positon to make it 3-1.
Tyler Thomas (loss, 0-2) suffered the loss for the Wood Ducks, going 4.2 innings allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits, he walked three and struck out four. Lynchburg starter Jean Carlos Mejia (win, 1-0) picked up his first win of the year, tossing six innings, giving up one run on four hits, he walked two and struck out seven.
The Hillcats added on in the eighth as Jodd Carter led off with a walk, and then three straight singles plated two runs, with Oscar Gonzalez picking up an RBI, extending his hitting streak to eight in a row. Carter reached base in all five of his plate appearances.
The Wood Ducks responded with a run in the eighth. With two out, Taveras bunted for a hit, and then Tejeda and Tyreque Reed laced back-to-back singles up the middle to push the deficit to 5-2. However, Lynchburg turned to the bullpen and Jared Robinson (save, 2), who came in to record the final four outs and seal the game for the Hillcats.
The teams are back in action tomorrow night at 7 p.m. for the second game of the four game series. Righty A.J. Alexy (0-1, 5.40) makes the start for the Wood Ducks, opposed by Lynchburg righty Eli Morgan (1-0, 0.00). It’s Mother Earth Friday at Grainger Stadium, complete with postgame fireworks presented by WNCT. The broadcast 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. For tickets and more information visit woodducksbaseball.com, or call (252) 686-5172.