KINSTON, NC - Three more homers and timely hitting for the Wood Ducks (9-6, 33-51) catapulted them to a 7-1 win on Friday night over the Astros (10-6, 47-39). Chuck Moorman, LeDarious Clark, and Yeyson Yrizzari each hit solo home runs and Matt Lipka added a three-run double for the Woodies.
Richelson Pena was not to be overshadowed, as he turned in his eighth quality start in 13 tries with the Woodies. The righty threw eight innings of one-run, no-walk work while collecting eight strikeouts.
Down East jumped on Buies Creek starter Matt Bower in the second with Moorman's solo blast - his third of the year. The first three hits of the game for the Woodies were the home runs with Clark and Yrizzari both connecting in the third inning.
Pena struck out the side in the fourth and had only allowed two hits to that point. The Wood Ducks rewarded him in the bottom of the inning with productive offense. With the bases loaded and one out, Clark added his second RBI of the night with a single to right. Friday was his seventh multi-RBI game which ties him for the team lead.
Two batters later, Lipka came to the plate with the bases still loaded and two outs. He pulled a 2-0 pitch from Bower down the left field line for a bases-clearing double and blow the game open 7-0.
Pena continued to roll as he only had one at-bat with a runner in scoring position during his start. The only run allowed was a solo home run to left-center by Spencer Johnson in the eighth.
For the ninth, Down East went with Tyler Ferguson and retired the side in order with a strikeout and sealed the victory. The Woodies remain in second place in the southern division, but only a half game back of the Astros for first.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 6:00 p.m. for Bill Ellis bobblehead night presented by Pepsi. The first 2,000 fans will receive a bobblehead as the gates open at 4:30 p.m. On the mound Jacob Shortslef (0-2, 5.79) will be opposed by Jorge Alcala (2-3, 3.15).
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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.