KINSTON, NC (WOOD DUCKS MEDIA RELATIONS) – Emerson Martinez was masterful in seven shutout innings but only received a no decision in a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Blue Rocks. Wilmington hit three solo home runs in the top of the ninth for their only runs of the game to claim the sweep.
The score would hold at 1-0 for the middle portion of the game while Martinez dazzled. The right-hander worked efficiently, only falling into four three-ball counts while facing 26 batters. He also did not walk a batter for the first time this season – in Hickory or Down East.
A two-out rally formed in the seventh when Carlos Arroyo slapped a single into left field. Next, Arturo Lara doubled down the left field line to bring Arroyo home just ahead of the throw. The Woodies led 2-0 and the game was in the hands of the bullpen.
Kelvin Vasquez worked a scoreless eighth inning, aided by a tremendous diving stop by Brallan Perez at second base. Down East didn’t add any insurance in the eighth with runners on second and third, and handed the ball to Tyler Ferguson for the ninth.
Cody Jones led off the inning in his first at-bat after entering the game in the seventh as a defensive substitution. He took Ferguson deep on a 2-1 offer to right, to eliminate the shutout hope. Chris DeVito flied out to center but Chase Vallot got all of his fly ball to center and carried it over the wall to tie the game at 2-2.
Then with two outs, Travis Maezes delivered the fatal blow. He connected on a solo home run to left-center field to take the lead 3-2. It was the 13th blown save of the year for the Wood Ducks.
Despite a leadoff walk to Tyler Sanchez, the Wood Ducks failed to move that runner into scoring position as the game ended on a 6-4-3 double play.
The Woodies are off on Wednesday before they embark on their final road trip of the first half. The seven-game trip consists of four games with the Potomac Nationals and three with the Winston-Salem Dash. You can listen to every pitch of the 2017 season live on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull, or streamed on the TuneIn Radio app.