KINSTON, NC (WOOD DUCKS MEDIA RELATIONS) – Fueled by a quality start from Wes Benjamin and reaping the benefits of early offensive production, the Woodies claimed the win in the second game of the series with the Dash 4-3. Benjamin left eight runners on base in his six innings of work while only allowing two runs to score.
Offensively, the Wood Ducks had three different players with an RBI but Luis La O led the way scoring two runs and driving his third home run of the season. In the second, Jairo Beras drove in his 16th run of the season on a single and Arturo Lara added a sacrifice fly to lead 2-0.
Winston-Salem responded in the third, when Danny Mendick began his 2-for-3 night with a solo homer to left. It was a precursor for the tight contest the game would be throughout the evening. In the bottom half, Down East responded when La O scored on a wild pitch. He led off the inning with a double and kept the Wood Ducks ahead 3-1.
Benjamin retired the side in order in the fourth but found himself in trouble in the fifth. Mendick led off with a ground-rule double, then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Landon Lassiter drove him in with an RBI single before Zack Collins doubled to right-center to put two on in scoring position and only one out. Benjamin struck out Brady Conlan, and induced a fly-out by Aaron Schnurbusch to keep it a one-run lead, 3-2.
Another quick response came in the bottom half of the inning with La O’s solo home run to left with two outs. All four runs for the Woodies came off Dash starter Zach Thompson in his six and two-thirds of work.
Brady Feigl relieved Benjamin in the seventh and traded a run for a double play with runners on the corners. The game was back to a one-run difference for the final two innings.
In the ninth, Ricardo Rodriguez entered for his fourth save chance and to lead the league in the category. He worked a 1-2-3 ninth with a strikeout to seal the win 4-3.
Next the Wood Ducks close the series with the Dash in a rubber match at 2:00 p.m. at Grainger Stadium. Left-hander Brett Martin will throw for Down East, with righty Brandon Easterling for W-S. You can listen to every pitch of the 2017 season live on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull or streamed on the TuneIn Radio app.