KINSTON, NC - Despite scoring first for the third straight game, the Wood Ducks (23-44, 58-79) fell to the Dash (41-24, 82-53) by a 7-4 final on Friday night. Chuck Leblanc continued his hot stretch with his second straight three-hit game while the bullpen kept the Woodies in it all night.
The Woodies were stymied in the middle innings by Devan Watts as he retired all 10 batters he faced from the Dash bullpen. In the end, the last 13 batters were sent down by Winston-Salem pitchers.
Brendon Davis opened the scoring in the second with a sac fly to deep right for his 37th RBI of the season. Down East held a 1-0 lead through two innings, but Winston-Salem's high-powered offense arrived in the third.
They brought nine batters to the plate and scored five - bookended by a three-run homer from Yermin Mercedes. The inning snapped starter Jason Bahr's scoreless streak at 13 straight frames over his last three starts.
The fourth didn't treat him any better as Blake Rutherford connected on an opposite field two-run homer to push the lead to 7-1. The DEWDs punched back in the bottom of the inning with RBIs from Davis and Josh Altmann. In all, the Woodies managed nine hits - seven of which were singles.
Austin Pettibone emerged for the fifth from the bullpen and was strong in his second appearance with the DEWDs. He struck out three over two scoreless innings and started a dominant night from the Down East bullpen.
He was followed by Royce Bolinger who also tossed a two-pair of scoreless innings and strikeouts. Jacob Lemoine tossed the ninth and left two runners stranded in doing so.
Leblanc's third hit of the night was a line drive double of the wall in left-center to keep a rally alive in the fifth inning. It would bring home Leody Taveras - who extended his season-long on-base streak to 18 games. The inning ended when Watts emerged from the bullpen and began his dominant performance.
The Wood Ducks' losing streak hits six games as the prepare for game two of the four-game set on Saturday. DEWD lefty Tyler Thomas will make the start against WS right-hander Lincoln Henzmen at 6:00 p.m. from Grainger Stadium
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.