Wood Ducks Rally, but Drop Finale with Pelicans

Morgan's grand slam provides spark to tie game

(Danny Stroud/Down East Wood Ducks)

By Dominic Cotroneo / Down East Wood Ducks | July 4, 2017 12:37 AM ET

KINSTON, NC - A tremendous back-and-forth game finally swayed for the Pelicans (4-7, 47-34) in extras with an 11-7 victory over the Wood Ducks (6-5, 30-50). Down East's comeback peaked with a two-out grand slam by Josh Morgan in the eight to tie the game at 7-7 - capping a four-run rally.

The Woodies got going right off the bat when Matt Lipka took the second pitch of the game from Thomas Hatch over the wall in left for his second homer of the year.

Jeffrey Springs started for the Woodies and left six runners on base while collecting six strikeouts over his five innings.

Matt Rose continued his hot hitting against the Wood Ducks with his sixth home run off of Down East pitching in the fifth - a three-run shot to give the Pelicans a 3-1 lead.

While Lipka's homer would be the only run allowed by Hatch, the Wood Ducks would get to the Myrtle Beach bullpen for the second consecutive game. In an anomaly inning off David Berg, the Wood Ducks scored twice without a hit (three walks, two sac flies, and a hit batsman). Down East drew a season-high 10 walks on Monday night.

In the seventh, with the scored tied 3-3, Jesse Hodges slashed a triple down the right field line with the bases loaded to take a 6-3 lead. It came on a 2-2 pitch with two outs, and the inning continued for another RBI hit, later from Connor Myers.

The response came in the eighth inning with a flair for the dramatic. Down East loaded the bases with one out for the top of the order. After a Lipka strikeout, Morgan stepped to the plate in his first game back from his DL stint. He clocked a 3-1 pitch over the wall in left for his second grand slam of the year and tie the game.

Little did the Wood Ducks know, that would be the only hit of the night with runners in scoring position (1-for-13). Tyler Ferguson entered for the bottom of the ninth and left the go-ahead run stranded on third base.

The Woodies had an identical chance in the ninth - bases loaded and one out. However the top of the order would be retired to end the inning and send the game to extras.

He returned for the tenth and worked a 1-2-3 frame, but the eleventh - a third inning - would prove to be too much. Ferguson was extended for the depleted bullpen, out of arms from Saturday and Sunday's slugfests, and allowed two two-run home runs to take the loss.

Down East hits the road for Winston-Salem for the Fourth of July series with the Dash. The three-game set begins at 6:35 on Tuesday night from BB&T Ballpark. 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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