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Wood Ducks Rally, but Fall Short in the Ninth

Nine walks could not be erased in second straight loss
May 17, 2017

ZEBULON, NC - A remarkable rally in the top of the ninth inning for the Wood Ducks energized an otherwise dull game in a 7-5 loss to the Mudcats. Entering the final inning, 15 Wood Ducks had been set down in order and only had one hit, trailing 7-0.

ZEBULON, NC - A remarkable rally in the top of the ninth inning for the Wood Ducks energized an otherwise dull game in a 7-5 loss to the Mudcats. Entering the final inning, 15 Wood Ducks had been set down in order and only had one hit, trailing 7-0.

Eduard Pinto was left on deck after the final out and he reached base three times in four plate appearances on the night. Ledarious Clark also extended his hitting streak to a season-high five games with an RBI double in the ninth inning.
Tyler Davis started the game for the Wood Ducks and began with a 1-2-3 first inning. He did not encounter the same success in the second inning when Jake Gatewood led off the inning with his league-leading 15th double of the season. He would score on an RBI single from Trent Clark for the Mudcats to strike first, 1-0.
They weren't done in the frame, however. Troy Stokes Jr. hit a triple to the gap in left-center to score Clark. Carolina would add-on just one inning later with a two-run home run from Lucas Erceg.
Down East's offense was stymied by Jordan Yamamoto for his abbreviated three inning start. He struck out five batters without allowing a hit before Kodi Medeiros entered for the tandem start. The lefty would double a streak of seven batters retired in a row from Yamamoto to 14 in a row before a walk to Arturo Lara in the sixth.
The next batter was Pinto and he ripped a single up the middle for the first Woodies' hit of the game. However the offense would go silent again when Clark grounding into an inning-ending double play.
Adam Choplick was the first reliever from the bullpen and he did not have his best stuff on the night. He walked three in his first inning of relief but escaped with a double play and a foul out. He walked the bases loaded in the sixth inning and was pulled for Kelvin Vasquez . He fell behind 2-0 on Corey Ray before he connected on a triple to left-center to clear the bases and set the score at 7-0.
In all, the Down East pitching staff had a new season-high nine walks in the loss.
Then the unlikely rally began with one out in the ninth for the Wood Ducks. Pinto walked before Clark's RBI double off of the wall in right to drive him in. Josh Morgan added a single to right before Chuck Moorman was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
After a pitching conference on the mound, Michael O'Neill hit a deep shot to center that was tracked down by Ray but allowed Clark to score, 7-2. Carlos Garay singled to right to reload the bases and bring the tying run on deck. Carlos Arroyo connected on a single up the middle to keep them loaded and bring Josh Altmann up as the equalizer.
Medeiros was lifted for right-handed closer Nate Griep to face Atlmann. With a 3-2 count, he lined a double to the gap in left-center to score two runs. The Wood Ducks had now batted around, down 7-5 with Luis La O up to pinch-hit. He dribbled a ball slowly to short that Luis Aviles Jr. gloved and threw to first without a hitch to get La O by a half-step to seal the win for the Mudcats.
Down East (15-24) looks for the split Thursday morning at 11:00 a.m. with right-hander Emerson Martinez on the mound. Another righty Cody Ponce will go at it for the Mudcats (20-19).

You can listen to every pitch of the 2017 season live on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull or streamed live on the TuneIn Radio app.