ZEBULON, NC – Six of seven runs for the Mudcats (10-10, 46-42) scored with two outs as they claimed the first game of the series with the Wood Ducks (9-10, 33-55) by a 7-3 final on Wednesday afternoon.
On the mound, Brett Martin started for the Woodies and retired his first five batters of the game on 19 pitches, but ran into an incredible at-bat with Isan Diaz. He fouled off nine pitches with two strikes and eventually lined the 14th pitch of the at-bat to left-center for a double.
He would score on the next pitch to Monte Harrison, a single through the right side. The Mudcats still weren’t done as Max McDowell hit his first home run of the season for Carolina – a two-run shot to set the score at 3-0 after two.
Down East had opportunities against Carolina starter Marcos Diplan, as he walked five batters. The Woodies had the bases loaded with no outs in the third, but could not plate a run. By game’s end, the offense hit into five double plays to restrict the offense.
Van Hoosier’s RBI single came in the top of the fourth, scoring Josh Morgan from second and making it a two-run game. Carolina would respond with another two-run homer in the bottom of the inning from Harrison and it came with two outs as well.
The two-out blast was matched by the Wood Ducks in the fifth from Yrizarri. He took a took a 2-0 offer from Diplan over the wall in left and again put Down East in striking distance.
However two more runs would score for the Mudcats in the sixth and it would prove plenty as the bullpen held the Wood Ducks scoreless in the final three innings of the game.
With the win, Carolina jumps ahead Down East for second place in the second-half race by a half game. The second game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with lefty Wes Benjamin (6-6, 4.57) set to be activated for his first start off of the DL. He will be countered by right-hander Jordan Yamamoto (2-1, 3.44) for the Mudcats.