Kinston, N.C. - The Down East Wood Ducks shut out the Frederick Keys, 5-0, Sunday clinching the first half title in the Carolina League Southern Division.
It's the second playoff appearance in three years for the Wood Ducks (45-18), who won the second half title in the 2017 season, and a share of the Carolina League Championship. The Wood Ducks also earned their second straight shutout, sweeping the four game series from the Keys (8-33).
Reid Anderson (win, 3-2) provided the Woodies with his best start of the year. He fired six scoreless innings, giving up six hits, he struck out one, and did not walk a batter for the first time this year. Anderson kept the ball low in the zone, recording 11 of his 18 outs on the ground.
The Wood Ducks got on the board behind him in the second. Sam Huff walked with one out, and then with two away Julio Pablo Martinez drew a free pass, and Tyler Depreta-Johnson singled into center field to score Huff and put the Woodies on the board. After a walk to Jenkins to load the bases, Yonny Hernandez came through with a two run single to center to push the advantage to 3-0.
Down East struck for two more runs against Mike Baumann (loss, 1-4) in the sixth. With one out, Huff reached on an infield single, and then Yohel Pozo followed with a single to center field. Martinez then walked, and Depreta-Johnson followed with a walk to force in a run. That ended the night for Baumann, but Ryan Conroy then walked home a second run, issuing a free pass to Hernandez.
Baumann went 5.1 innings allowing five runs on five hits, he walked five and struck out four.
Francisco Villegas (save, 2) took over for Anderson in the seventh. He retired the final nine batters in order to close out the ballgame, including striking out the side in the ninth, finishing with five strikeouts overall.
The Wood Ducks will close out the first half with a seven game road trip, beginning Monday in Potomac at 7:05 p.m. The Wood Ducks will send righty Alex Eubanks (5-1, 2.97) to the hill to face off with left-hander Nick Raquet (4-5, 5.06) for Potomac. The pregame show will begin at 6:50 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.