ZEBULON, NC - The Wood Ducks (31-26) never trailed as the bats found their mojo in a 6-4 victory over the Mudcats (27-30). Chuck Leblanc had a pair of RBI doubles, but Franklin Rollin's solo homer in the fifth was the game-winning RBI in the contest.
Down East's bullpen was terrific after a short start from Jonathan Hernandez. Four arms combined to strike out five and only allow two base runners over the final six innings. Anthony Gose claimed his first professional win on the mound working a scoreless fourth inning with a K.
In what was billed to be a pitchers' duel between the top two ERA performers in the league turned out to be the opposite. The Woodies tagged Cam Roegner for three runs on five hits in the first, including three in a row that produced runs with two outs.
The Mudcats nearly closed the gap in the bottom of the inning with two runs, but added a run in the fourth to push the lead to two. Leblanc's second double of the game brought home Anderson Tejeda from second.
Tuesday was Leblanc's 14th multi-hit game and 13th multi-RBI game. His pair of doubles pushed him into solo second in the league for extra-base hits with 25. Anderson Tejeda's two-hit night upped his multi-hit total to 15, still chasing Andretty Cordero's 17 to lead the team.
Carolina would tie things up in the bottom of the third, but Rollin's blast to left-center in the fifth gave the Woodies the lead for good. The bullpen took control from there after Gose's one inning. Michael Matuella only needed seven pitches to put a zero up in the fifth in 1-2-3 fashion.
Cole Wiper took care of the next three innings, marking the 11th time in 14 games he has worked at least two innings. He was credited with his fourth hold of the season with three strikeouts during his spotless performance.
Brendon Davis led off the seventh with a double and would eventually score on Rollin's sac fly to right-center and restore the lead to two runs.
C.D. Pelham closed out the ninth in 1-2-3 fashion with a strikeout for his league-leading 10th save of the season. The lefty is still perfect in his opportunities for a save this year.
Down East also gained a game on Buies Creek after they were defeated by Myrtle Beach 7-4 on Tuesday night. They will sit no worse than a game back at the night's end (at the time of writing, Winston-Salem and Salem were tied).
Game two of the series features Edgar Arredondo (5-2, 2.66) on the mound against Marcos Diplán (3-2, 3.16) at 7:00 p.m. from Five County Stadium. Pregame coverage on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull begins at 6:45 online and on the radio.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.