Carolina-hammered Wood Ducks pitcher still maintains two-game lead in division
ZEBULON, NC – After sweeping the doubles program on Friday, the Down East Wood Ducks struggled to lose 14-10 to the Carolina Mudcats on Saturday night.
Carolina clubbed three home runs against the Down East pitchers and all four allowed at least two runs.
Carolina (65-48) hit first at the end of the first with a point against Down East starter Nick Krauth (L, 5-8).
Down East (67-46) tied the game at the start of the second. With one out, Cody Freeman tripled and scored on a Keyber Rodriguez ball to tie the game to one.
The Mudcats resumed their lead with two points at the end of the third to bring the score to 3-1.
The Wood Ducks did not give up as they scored two runs in the top of the fourth. With two strikeouts, Cristian Inoa scored a single and moved up to second on a Freeman single. Rodriguez followed with a two-run triple to tie the game three-way.
Carolina opened the game with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, then posted six runs in the bottom of the fifth to take an 11-3 lead.
The Woodies tried to slowly work their way up, tackling four runs at the top of the sixth. With one out, Luisangel Acuña walked and climbed to second on a single from Inoa. After a strikeout, Rodriguez walked to charge the goals. Xavier Valentin cleared the goals with a three-point brace to reduce the deficit to 11-6 and Angel Aponte scored to score Valentin to make it 11-7.
In the seventh, Down East added one more point. Aaron Zavala doubled up, moved up to third on an Acuña out, then scored on a ball from Inoa to make it 11-8.
The Mudcats extended their lead with one point in the bottom of the seventh and two more in the bottom of the eighth to increase their lead to 14-8.
The Wood Ducks tried to rally at the top of the ninth, but were unsuccessful. Alejandro Osuna started with a solo home run (6) to bring the score to 14-9. Daniel Mateo scored a single but was sent off in second on a defensive choice by Zavala. Zavala advanced to second on defensive indifference but was hit while trying to advance to third on a ground ball by Acuña. After Acuña advanced on defensive indifference, he scored on a single by Inoa to make it 14-10.
Krauth (L, 5-8) pitched four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits with one walk and one strikeout. Mason Cole once again struggled to get out of the pen, pitching 1/3 of an inning while allowing five runs on two hits with three walks. Theo McDowell pitched two innings, allowing two runs on a walk with one walk and six strikeouts. Connor Sechler pitched the last 1 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits with three strikeouts.
Down East and Carolina end their streak Sunday at 1 p.m. RHP Owen White (1-1, 3.66) recovers the ball for the Wood Ducks and RHP Brailian Rodriguez (0-0, 3.00) will start for Carolina.
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