Kinston, N.C. - The Down East Wood Ducks shut out the Frederick Keys, 4-0, Friday, behind 6.2 scoreless innings from starter Jake Latz , to take a three games to none lead in the series.
Down East (44-18) now stands with a magic number of one to win a Southern Division title, earning their eighth shutout win of the year.
Latz (win, 5-1) has now won five consecutive starts, and has allowed just two earned runs in his last 33.2 innings of work. Tonight he struck out four and walked two, allowing just three hits.
The Woodies got him some insurance early. Yonny Hernandez reached on an error to lead off the first inning. He then moved to second a sac bunt from Leody Taveras , and came into score on a Diosbel Arias RBI single to right, two batters later. It was the 13th time in the last 14 games that the Wood Ducks scored the first run of a ballgame.
Down East struck for another run in the fourth against Brenan Hanifee (loss, 4-5). With two outs, Julio Pablo Martinez launched an opposite field home run, his sixth of the year, to put Down East ahead, 2-0.
The Wood Ducks then added on a pair of runs in the eighth inning, when Tyler Depreta-Johnson laced a two-run single with the bases loaded to score Arias, and Yohel Pozo , pushing the lead to 4-0.
Michael Matuella worked 1.1 scoreless innings in relief, striking out two, and stranding an inherited runner. Jefferson Medina followed with a scoreless ninth to seal the win.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. when Down East sends righty Reid Anderson (2-2, 4.10) to the mound to face off with Frederick right-hander Mike Baumann (1-3, 3.30). It's Sunday Funday presented by Cricket Wireless, with pregame autographs and postgame kids run the bases. The Wood Ducks will also play as the Patos Joyuyos for the final time in the first half of play. The broadcast will begin at 12:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online at 960thebull.com as well as on the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio Apps.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.