KINSTON, N.C. - Tristen Lutz hit a game tying home run in the fourth, Devin Hairston delivered a go-ahead two-run, two-out double in the eighth, but Curtis Terry hit a three-run walk-off home run for Down East as the Wood Ducks defeated the Mudcats 6-4 on Tuesday night at Grainger
KINSTON, N.C. - Tristen Lutz hit a game tying home run in the fourth, Devin Hairston delivered a go-ahead two-run, two-out double in the eighth, but Curtis Terry hit a three-run walk-off home run for Down East as the Wood Ducks defeated the Mudcats 6-4 on Tuesday night at Grainger Stadium in Kinston.
Carolina (18-27, 57-57) had a one run lead heading into the last of the ninth, but the Wood Ducks (28-16, 78-36) managed to get two men on before Terry connected on his three-run walk-off home run off reliever Michael Petersen with two outs in the final frame.
Petersen (BS, L, 1-1, 2.74) walked two and struck out two before giving up Terry's walk-off blast and suffering his first blown save of the season. The blown save also came in just his second save chance this season.
Terry had three hits in the game for the Wood Ducks and went 3-for-4 overall with a single, a double and the game winning home run. Sam Huff also homered in the game for Down East as his solo shot in the first gave the Wood Ducks an early 1-0 lead on starter Nelson Hernandez and the Mudcats.
Hernandez allowed the one early run on Huff's homer in the first and one more in the sixth before leaving the game with just those two runs allowed on seven hits over six innings pitched. Carolina's starter walked three and struck out three while reaching 99 pitches (59 strikes) and turning in his ninth quality start of the season.
Down East starter Sal Mendez also turned in a quality outing while allowing one run on seven hits and striking out seven in his start. Mendez allowed a game tying home run to Lutz in the fourth, but held Carolina scoreless over the next two frames while reaching 89 pitches (60 strikes) in his start.
Lutz went 3-for-5 with a home run, a run and one RBI in the game for Carolina. His homer in the fourth was his 11th of the season and tied the game at 1-1. Down East broke that tie in the sixth when JP Martinez brought in Diosbel Arias with a two-out RBI single to left-center off Hernandez. Carolina then tied the game in the seventh after Mario Feliciano was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The resulting RBI lifted Feliciano's RBI total to a league high 74 this season.
The 2-2 tie was short-lived, however, as Down East rallied for a run against reliever Robbie Hitt in the last of the seventh after Josh Altmann singled, moved to third on a hit from Huff and scored on a sac fly from Arias.
The Mudcats trailed 3-2 until Hairston gave them their first lead of the game in the eighth after connecting on a two-out, two-run double to right-center off reliever Cole Uvila. Hairston's hit put Carolina up 4-3, but would also account for their final runs of the game as Uvila (BS, W, 4-3, 2.72) went on to strike out the side in the ninth before getting Terry's walk-off blast in the same frame and thus earning the win.
Uvila earned the victory, but also took the blown save after losing the lead in the eighth. Jefferson Medina preceded Uvila and had worked through just one inning while on two walks and two hit-by-pitches in the seventh.
Carolina used Hitt, Peter Strzelecki and Petersen in relief of their starter in Hernandez for Tuesday's series opener. Hitt walked one, struck out one and allowed one run and two hits in the seventh. Strzelecki (H, 1) pitched a scoreless eighth and faced three batters. Petersen then retired two via strikes, walked two and allowed Terry's walk-off homer in the ninth.
The loss dropped Carolina to 0-1 in the current series in Kinston and to just 1-3 in the current road trip. It was also Carolina's fifth walk-off loss of the year.
The series will continue on Wednesday night in Kinston beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Grainger Stadium. RHP Noah Zavolas (6-5, 2.93) will start on Wednesday night in Kinston in what will be the middle game of the series.
The game will air live on the Mudcats Radio Network, The Big Dawg 98.5 FM and online at carolinamudcats.com via TuneIn Radio.
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