WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Another productive night for the offense supplied plenty of runs for Steven Bruce and the pitching staff in an 11-7 win over Winston-Salem (6-9, 30-55) on Thursday night. Down East (8-6, 32-51) had three homers to tie a season-high and had five starters record multiple hits.
The Woodies opened up hot with two runs in the first – a Carlos Garay double and Yanio Perez grounder supported Steven Bruce‘s spot start. He would allow a solo homer in the bottom of the first to Zack Collins, but proceed to retire 11 batters in a row after that.
Matt Lipka continued his tear at the plate by extending his hitting streak to nine games with an RBI double in the second. Next, Yeyson Yrizzari clocked a sacrifice fly to deep right-center to set the score at 4-1 through two.
The long ball arrived in the fourth for Down East. Ledarious Clark led off with a towering blast to left, and two batters later Matt Lipka connected for a two-run blast to left-center. Seven runs of offense was plenty for Bruce as he worked five innings with only two hits and two runs without a walk. He claimed the win in his first professional start.
Celebrating his 23rd birthday, Josh Altmann added his team-leading eighth home run of the year in the sixth – a solo shot to left. He scored three times in his first game on his birthday as a professional.
Down East added one more in the sixth on a failed pickoff attempt to third by Dash catcher Zack Collins. His throw sailed into left field and allowed Yrizzari to score.
Grant Zawadski worked after Bruce and was terrific. He set a new career-high in innings pitched with three and only allowed one baserunner while striking out four in his scoreless outing.
The eighth featured two more runs for the Woodies on a Luis La O RBI double and Perez sacrifice fly. Heading to the bottom of the ninth the Wood Ducks led 11-2.
Next, the Woodies return home for a four-game series with the Buies Creek Astros on Friday night. Food truck Friday and fireworks kickoff the brief homestand at 7:00 p.m.