KINSTON, NC (WOOD DUCKS MEDIA RELATIONS) – An offensive barrage never let up for the Wood Ducks (5-3, 29-48) in a 10-2 victory over the Pelicans (2-6, 45-33) on Friday night. Evan Van Hoosier clicked for a 2-for-4 night including a three-run homer – his first since the 2015 season.
An overwhelming amount of run support backed up Wes Benjamin‘s night for the second straight start. The lefty was on the mound last Friday night at Myrtle Beach when the Wood Ducks scored 14 runs over his six innings of work.
An error started the night in the third on a throwing error by Jesse Hodges to allow Franklin Rollin to reach. Brallan Perez clocked a double off the left field wall to set runners at second and third for Mat Lipka. He singled to center to score Rollin.
After a stolen base and an intentional walk to Pinto loaded the bases, Yanio Perez hit a sacrifice fly to left-center to push the lead to 2-0. It was the start of a streak of three straight innings with a run for the Wood Ducks.
Van Hoosier led off the fourth with a double and scored on a rocket ground ball by Chuck Moorman that made it to right field. In the fifth, Van Hoosier delivered the big blow with a two-out, three-run blast to left field. After not hitting a home run in all of 2016, it was his first since May 15th, 2015 with the High Desert Mavericks at the Lancaster Jethawks.
Benjamin faced much less traffic in this start as opposed to his last. He only allowed five hits over his six innings while not forfeiting a walk. The St. Charles, IL native also collected four strikeouts in his sixth win of the season.
The Pelicans tagged two runs in the seventh inning off Tyler Ferguson, but he struck out four batters over his inning and two-thirds.
Down East had its biggest inning in the fourth off of the Myrtle Beach bullpen. An RBI single by Y. Perez made the score 7-2, but a two-run double by Preston Scott reaffirmed the rout was on. For good measure, Moorman added his second RBI single later in the inning to set the score at 10-2.
Grant Zawadzki entered with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth but struck out Matt Rose to end the threat. The righty followed that by striking out the side in the ninth. The last eight outs of the game for the Wood Ducks staff were recorded with strikeouts.
With the win, the Wood Ducks sit in first place in the southern division for the first time since after the first game of the season.
Game two of the series comes on Saturday night with Richelson Pena (4-3, 3.11) for the Wood Ducks against Justin Steele (5-4, 2.39) for the Pelicans. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and the gates open at 4:30 for the replica home jersey giveaway to the first 1,000 fans presented by Spirit Aero.
You can listen to every pitch of the 2017 season live on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull or streamed on the TuneIn Radio app.