Leblanc's Homer and Weickel's Great Start Lead to Win

Weickel carried a no-hitter into the seventh in the victory

(Jimmy Kilpatrick)

By Dominic Cotroneo / Down East Wood Ducks | May 25, 2018 10:14 PM

KINSTON, NC - While it wasn't a walk-off, Chuck Leblanc hit another clutch home run as the Wood Ducks (27-21) defeated the Keys (20-27) for the first time in franchise history 4-2. Walker Weickel also worked into the seventh and opened the game with six consecutive no-hit innings.

The Woodies never trailed in the contest thanks to Anderson Tejeda's RBI double in the first inning to score Eric Jenkins. Before the hit, Jenkins recorded his first multi-stolen base game for the Wood Ducks with a pair in the first inning. 

Tejeda's double gave him his 35th run batted in this season, tying him for the league lead for the time being.

Weickel did not allow a baserunner for the first two frames, but a pair of walks put him in a jam in the third with only one out. A fly out to right and a strikeout ended the threat and kept the Woodies in front 1-0.

The right-hander only allowed one other batter to reach on a walk through six innings - marking the furthest a Wood Duck starter has taken a no-hitter in two seasons of existence.

Down East added an unearned run with two outs in the sixth, when Frederick third baseman Jomar Reyes misplayed an Andretty Cordero grounder, which allowed Leblanc to score from second (after a double).

Weickel was given a no decision as the only hit he allowed was a game-tying two-run homer by Reyes in the top of the seventh inning. He would record an out in the inning, but was lifted for Christian Torres. The southpaw would retire all five batters he faced in the win.

Leblanc's homer came on the heels of a seven-pitch at-bat with two outs and two strikes by Alex Kowalczyk, who would single into left. The Canadian had a 1-2 count before he took a hanging breaking ball 411 feet over the wall in left. The pair of RBIs pushed his new league-leading total to 37 this season.

C.D. Pelham was called for the ninth and retired the side for his eighth save in as many tries this season. The Woodies remain in first place for the league as Buies Creek was also victorious on Friday night. 

The Woodies will throw right-hander Steven Bruce (0-0, 3.12) on the mound on Saturday against righty Ofelky Peralta (1-4, 6.27) with first pitch scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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