Woodies fall in extra innings, 5-1
The Down East Wood Ducks surrendered four runs in the top of the 11th to spoil a great effort by starting pitcher Joe Palumbo and fell 5-1 to the Buies Creek Astros in front of 1,301 fans at Historic Grainger Stadium Tuesday night.
Palumbo struck out a career-high 11 batters in just five innings of work and left with his Woodies ahead 1-0.
The Woodies (14-31 second half, 49-66 overall) kept the one-run lead until the top of the ninth, when Buies Creek’s J.J. Matijevic earned a bases-loaded walk to tie the game. Both teams couldn’t push a run across the plate in the 10th, but a two-run double by Corey Julks and a two-run home run by Matijevic secured the victory for the Astros (27-17, 64-49).
All four runs came at the expense of Josh Altmann, an infielder who was pressed into service on the mound by the Woodies. He fell to 0-2 for the season and saw his ERA climb to 11.57.
In all, Wood Ducks pitchers Palumbo, Kaleb Fontenot (3), Locke St. John (3) and Jairo Beras (3) combined to strike out 20 batters, a new DEWD record.
DEWD catcher Melvin Novoa drove in the team’s lone run, an RBI single that scored Brendon Davis in the fifth inning.
Continuing a second-half trend, the Woodies were again terrible with runners in scorer’s position, going 1-for-12 in that spot. They also fell to 2-7 in extra-inning contests this season.
The Wood Ducks and Astros play the second of their three-game set Wednesday at Grainger Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.