Wood Ducks stifle Mudcats, 3-1

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ZEBULON — An inability to generate the timely hit was costly to the Carolina Mudcats on Sunday night, as the club was 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position en route to a 3-1 loss to the Down East Wood Ducks at Five County Stadium.

Entering the four-game series 3 1/2 games back of the Wood Ducks in the Carolina League’s Southern Division, the Mudcats dropped their second game of the series to fall to 29-21 and now sit 4 1/2 games back of the division lead. The Wood Ducks improved to 34-17 and own the best record in the Carolina League.

Trailing 2-0 in the third, the Mudcats generated their only run on a solo homer by Ryan Aguilar. However, the Wood Ducks tacked on a run in the fifth after Yanio Perez doubled and came around to score on a Yonny Hernandez RBI single.

Carolina outhit the Wood Ducks 7-4, but was stymied after leaving 11 runners on base. Hernandez was 2 for 3 to lead the Wood Ducks offense, which stole five bases. Braden Webb took the loss for the Mudcats after starting and throwing the first five innings. He allowed four hits, while striking out five and walking four.

Aguilar was 2 for 5 with his solo home run for Carolina.

Jake Latz won for the Wood Ducks, limiting the Mudcats to three hits over five innings. He struck out nine before handing off to Alex Eubanks for three innings. Joe Kuzia pitched the ninth for the save, his first of the season.

The final game of the series is set for noon Monday.