LYNCHBURG, VA (WOOD DUCKS MEDIA RELATIONS) – The tenth quality start of the year for Emerson Martinez led the Wood Ducks (21-22, 45-67) to victory 3-2 over the Hillcats (25-17, 65-47). He allowed two runs – one earned – and the bullpen did not allow a run behind him to seal the 16th one-run win of the year for the Woodies.
All three Down East runs were scored in the first eight batters of the game. They jumped out to a 1-0 lead four pitches into the game thanks to back-to-back doubles from Matt Lipka and Preston Scott to open the game. Scott would later score on an RBI single from Josh Morgan.
Yet from there, the Wood Ducks would only manage one more hit as starter Tanner Tully and reliever Justin Garcia combined to retire 24 of the last 25 batters of the game. That also included the last 19 of the game in a row.
Martinez allowed a solo homer to Martin Cervenka in the second but it would be the only earned run he allowed, thanks in part to his bullpen. He exited after a one-out double from Claudio Bautista for Jeffrey Springs to enter. He struck out the last two outs on a perfect six pitches to end the seventh.
The lefty would return for the seventh and strike out the first batter, but a triple from Andrew Calica would chase him. Manager Howard Johnson would opt for a right-on-right matchup with Tyler Ferguson from the bullpen and he induced a popout.
HoJo would return to the bullpen for the final out of the eighth with Adam Choplick working against another lefty. A strikeout would end the frame leaving Calica stranded.
Choplick would return for the ninth, but allowed a one-out double and a walk to put the winning run aboard. The Texan ended the game with a strikeout and a groundout to claim the third win of the road trip.
Down East looks for the split on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Wood Duck lefty Brett Martin (1-7, 5.14) will face right-hander Aaron Civale (6-2, 2.97) for the Hillcats. You can listen to every pitch of the 2017 season live on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull or streamed on the TuneIn Radio app.