ZEBULON, NC (WOOD DUCKS MEDIA RELATIONS) – Ledarious Clark and Michael O’Neill paced the offense while Richelson Pena worked five quality innings in a 4-1 Wood Ducks victory over the Mudcats. Down East’s bullpen of Omarlin Lopez , Brady Feigl , and Ricardo Rodriguez did not allow a run while stranding seven Mud Cats runners on base to seal the win.
The offense got started early by loading the bases with no outs in the second inning for Clark. He poked a single through the right side to score Carlos Garay and O’Neill to jump ahead 2-0. With the win, the Wood Ducks improved to 7-1 when scoring first this season.
Carolina would respond in the bottom half with a two-out solo home run by Trent Clark to right field. It would be the only mistake Pena made the rest of the night, as he only allowed two more hits after the home run.
In the third, the Wood Ducks would not be shutdown when O’Neill singled to right field to score Josh Morgan – who had two doubles in the game. O’Neill would drive in one more run on a solo home run to right field in the sixth inning off reliever Kodi Medeiros. After Pena exited the game, Down East led 4-1 and Lopez tossed a 1-2-3 sixth inning.
Lopez was the beneficiary of great defense in the seventh when Clark lined a ball to the right side. Second baseman Arturo Lara leapt into the air to make the catch and doubled off the runner at first to erase a leadoff single.
Feigl had to deal with a little more stress in the eighth when he loaded the bases with one out. He would escape by inducing a pop out by Lucas Erceg and a strikeout to Jake Gatewood. He was lifted for Rodriguez in the ninth, but he re-loaded the bases with one out in the ninth. Ricardo struck out lead off man Corey Ray and Troy Stokes Jr. to seal his third save of the season and the win.
Down East improves to 9-10 while Carolina falls to 8-9 ahead of Wednesday’s game two at 7:00 p.m. Right-handers Pedro Payano (0-1, 4.50) and Cody Ponce (2-1, 3.24) will square off for the Woodies and Mud Cats respectively. You can listen to every pitch of the 2017 season on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull or the TuneIn Radio app.