Big eighth helps Wood Ducks snap losing streak
Josh Altmann's three-run home run in the eighth inning helped the Down East Wood Ducks end a four-game losing streak. Photo and story courtesy of Dominic Cotroneo / Down East Wood Ducks
WINSTON-SALEM -- A two-out rally in the eighth inning propelled the Down East Wood Ducks (7-10 second half, 42-45 overall) to a 7-1 victory against Winston-Salem on Saturday. All six runs in the big inning were scored with two outs and were highlighted by a three-run home run by Josh Altmann.
The homer gave Altmann his third hit of the game as he joined Chuck Leblanc as DEWDs with three-hit contests. Leody Taveras and Alex Kowalczyk also added multi-hit efforts as the Woodies mashed 13 hits in the win.
Leblanc lined a double into right-center in the top of the sixth to bring home Taveras to open the scoring for the game. Leblanc increased his team lead in batting average up to .285 with his performance.
Sal Mendez received a no-decision by working into the sixth inning for the Woodies with four strikeouts and only one run allowed. The Dash (11-5, 52-34) loaded the bases against Mendez in the sixth and chased him from the contest. The Wood Ducks opted for Michael Matuella from the ‘pen and a bloop single to right tied the game at 1-1.
The right-hander then induced a pop-out, ground-out and a strikeout to finish off the inning with the bases loaded. He returned to toss a scoreless seventh with another strikeout to keep the game tied at one.
In the eighth, the rally began with Brendon Davis on first with two outs for Kowalczyk. He lined his second double down the right-field line to place runners on second and third. Franklin Rollin drew a walk and ball four was a wild pitch to give the DEWDs the lead.
It was just the beginning as both Ricky Valencia and Eric Jenkins lined singles to right to each produce an RBI. The Wood Ducks were up 4-1 with the top of the order up and Josh Altmann stayed white hot with a three-run blast to left field. It was his 17th homer of the season and ninth of the half to lead the Woodies.
The dinger also tied him with Round Rock’s Tommy Joseph for the most homers in the Rangers farm system this season. The final two innings were scoreless from Jacob Lemoine as the Woodies snapped a four-game losing streak with the win.
The series finale is Sunday at 2 p.m., and will be the final game of the regular season at BB&T Ballpark. Right-hander Robby Rowland will take the mound for his third start with the Woodies against right-hander Luis Martinez.