KINSTON, NC (WOOD DUCKS MEDIA RELATIONS) – In the first game with a new-look bullpen the Wood Ducks (4-3, 28-48) prevailed 3-2 over the Dash (5-3, 29-49) on Thursday night. Jacob Shortslef, Kelvin Vasquez, and Adam Choplick combined to shutout the Dash over the last five and two-thirds of the game.
Luis La O also added two RBIs – including the game-winner with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Both he and Chuck Moorman finished the night with two hits while the Wood Ducks tallied seven hits.
To close the game, Adam Choplick entered for his first save opportunity since May 2nd against Potomac. He inherited the tying run on third with one out to face top White Sox prospects Luis Basabe and Zack Collins. He induced a groundout and a strikeout respectively to seal the win.
The return of Brett Martin to the starting rotation started in underwhelming fashion, walking the first two batters of the game on eight pitches. He would leave the runners stranded on second and third by retiring the next three batters in order.
For the Dash, Bernardo Flores made his High-A debut and started with two perfect innings to open the contest. In the bottom of the second, Danny Mendick had his first of three hits on the night to left and it scored Toby Thomas from second to set the score at 1-0.
The bottom of the order delivered again in the fourth when Louis Silverio led off with a double and then scored on Johan Cruz‘s double to further the advantage. Martin would be done after that, held to a 60-pitch threshold in his first start back.
Shortslef struck out the last two batters of the frame to prevent further damage and left a runner on base in each of the four innings he worked in.
The Wood Ducks responded in the bottom of the inning when an Eduard Pinto double was followed two batters later by the first La O hit of the night – a rocket to center for a double as well.
One more run came in the fifth to tie it when Moorman scored on a two-out base hit by Matt Lipka to center. Both teams had chances, going a combined 5-for-25 with runners in scoring position.
Ian Hamilton entered in relief after Flores’ six innings and worked a perfect seventh. A two-out rally formed on a Yanio Perez infield single and stolen base during La O’s at-bat. The next pitch after the steal was a single up the middle to score Perez and give the Woodies the lead.
Not to be overlooked was Kelvin Vasquez in his inning and a third of work, only allowing one baserunner with a strikeout as well.
A new series begins on Friday night with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (2-5, 45-32) at 7:00 p.m. Left-hander Wes Benjamin (5-6, 5.00) will face righty Mike Rucker (1-1, 1.45) for Food Truck Friday and postgame fireworks.
You can listen to every pitch of the 2017 season live on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull or streamed on the TuneIn Radio app.