Wood Ducks unable to hold lead, get swept by Hillcats

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KINSTON, N.C. (DEWDS) – The Down East Wood Ducks were unable to hold a 3-0 lead as they dropped their third game in a row, 4-3, to Lynchburg Thursday night at Grainger Stadium.

The three-game losing streak is a season-worst for the Wood Ducks (13-8), while the three-run lead is also the most they’ve surrendered in a loss this season.

All three Woodies runs came in the first inning. Yonny Hernandez and Julio Pablo Martinez led off with back-to-back walks to begin the inning, and then Leody Taveras followed by launching his first home run of the season to right field off of Justin Garza.

Garza would settle down, as he went on to work five innings, allowing three runs on three hits, he walked four, and struck out five.

Meanwhile A.J. Alexy enjoyed his best start of the season. He worked five innings allowing just one unearned run on two hits, he walked four, and stuck out four, but didn’t factor in the decision.

The lone run he allowed came in the third. Wilbis Santiago led off the inning lining a ball to short stop which was dropped by Hernandez. Then with two-outs, Nolan Jones laced a double to right field to make it a 3-1 game.

It stayed that way until the seventh. Jonathan Laureano led off with a walk, and then with one out, Luke Wakamatsu singled to right. Then Steve Kwan followed with an RBI double to center to chase Francisco Villegas (loss, 0-1) from the ballgame. Demarcus Evans came in and uncorked a wild pitch to tie the game, and then Austen Wade singed through the right side to put the Hillcats in front 4-3.

The Wood Ducks threatened in both the seventh and eighth innings, but each time stranded both the tying, and go-ahead runners on base. Jonathan Teaney (win, 1-0) picked up the victory, while Robert Broom and Kyle Nelson (save, 3) finished off the win for the Hillcats (13-8).

The Woodies continue their home stand on Friday night when they welcome in the Fayetteville Woodpeckers for the first time. Right-hander Reid Anderson (1-0, 0.61) will make the start for the Woodies, opposed by righty Cristian Javier (2-0, 1.15) for Fayetteville, with first pitch slated for 7 p.m. It’s Mother Earth Friday, where fans can receive $3 off their ticket when presenting a Mother Earth beer can. 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.