Wood Ducks Doomed By Big First Inning

For the second time in the last five games, Down East's starter did not finish the first inning

By Dominic Cotroneo / Down East Wood Ducks | May 20, 2017 9:36 PM ET

KINSTON, NC - For the second consecutive game, the Wood Ducks could only manage three hits against the Astros and lost their fifth game in a row, 8-2. Buies Creek was fueled by a six-run first inning - chasing Down East starter Richelson Pena after only eight batters and one out recorded.

Both of DEWD's runs were scored by Michael O'Neill . The first on his solo home run in the second, and the other when he crossed home on a Brallan Perez single in the seventh inning.

The tumultuous start began by Pena loading the bases with a single, a hit batter, and a walk to face Carolina League RBI leader Kyle Tucker. He laced a 2-2 offering down the right field line for a bases-clearing double to put the Astros ahead. Then, Pena would walk back-to-back batters to reload the bases for the bottom third of the order.

Arturo Michelena popped out to second for the first out of the inning, but Dexture McCall walked to bring in a run and force Pena out of the game in the shortest start of his professional career. Jason Richman entered and struck out Anibal Sierra for the second out of the first.

The top of the order returned to the plate and Jason Martin tagged a two-run double beyond Josh Altmann's diving glove at first to extend the lead to 6-0 after one inning. Buies Creek starter Yoanys Quiala recorded a shutdown bottom of the first in a 1-2-3 fashion.

Richman quietly worked a career-high four and two-thirds innings of relief allowing one run of his own and striking out five. Adam Choplick followed and worked scoreless sixth and seventh innings with four more K's.

Quiala was done after five for the Astros, and Framber Valdez kept the Woodies off-balance with six strikeouts over his four innings of relief. He only allowed one hit - Perez's RBI single in the seventh.

Omarlin Lopez allowed a run in the eighth on a Spencer Johnson two-out double to set the score at 8-2, which would eventually be the final score. The Woodies have lost five in a row for the second time this season.

On Sunday the Wood Ducks (15-27) will have Pedro Payano (1-2, 4.12) on the mound, as he was the starting pitcher in the last win on Monday night in Zebulon. The Astros (27-16) will throw right-hander Justin Ferrell (3-2, 6.59) for the second time against the Woodies. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. and you can listen to every pitch of the 2017 season live on Sports/Talk 960 The Bull or streamed on the TuneIn Radio app.

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

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