KINSTON, NC – The Wood Ducks returned the favor to the Pelicans with a 2-0 shutout win in game two of the series. Jonathan Hernandez dazzled in six innings in his home debut Down East, while Adam Choplick and Ricardo Rodriguez closed the door for the final three innings.
All the Woodies needed was one earned and unearned run in the second inning for the offense. Ledarious Clark reached on a one-out single and attempted to steal second. P.J. Higgins‘ throw sailed into center and Clark attempted to advance to third. Another poor throw from Robert Garcia skipped into the Wood Ducks’ dugout – allowing Clark to score on the pair of errors.
Later in the frame, Brallan Perez reached on a two-out walk from Myrtle Beach starter Mike Rucker. With Yanio Perez batting, he stole second and on the next pitch Y. Perez dumped a single into center to allow B. Perez to score.
Hernandez left runners stranded from innings two through five – while striking out the side in the fourth inning. He finished his night with a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth to snap a four-start losing streak.
In the seventh, Choplick ended the frame with back-to-back strikeouts. He allowed a one-out walk to Higgins in the eighth, but struck out Daniel Spingola for his fourth K of the night.
Manager Howard Johnson opted to go righty-vs-righty with Ricardo Rodgriguez from the bullpen against top Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez. Rodriguez retired Jimenez on only two pitches.
Meanwhile the Wood Ducks offense was stagnant for the rest of the game. The Perez hit in the third would be their last hit of the game, only Clark would reach one more time with a walk in the fifth. Three hits for Down East was a season-low in a win.
Rodriguez returned for the ninth and retired the side in order with two more strikeouts. Extending his impressive streaks: 37 batters retired in a row, 14 straight appearances with a strikeout, 12.1 consecutive scoreless innings, and 10-for-10 in save opportunities.
Game three of the series will feature a pair of southpaws facing off – Jeffrey Springs for the Wood Ducks and Ryan Kellogg for the Pelicans. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and you can listen to every pitch of the 2017 season live on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull or streamed live on the TuneIn Radio app.