Woodies clinch first-half title, playoff berth

Woodies clinch first-half title, playoff berth

The Down East Wood Ducks rush to the pitcher’s mound following Sunday’s 5-0 win against the Frederick Keys. Photo by Linda Whittington / Neuse News

The Wood Ducks douse their manager, Corey Ragsdale, with Gatorade during the post-game celebration on the field. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News

The Down East Wood Ducks continued their historic 2019 season Sunday by defeating the Frederick Keys, 5-0. They won their sixth straight game, their 13th game in the past 14 and their eighth home game in a row in front of 1,481 fans at Historic Grainger Stadium.

As a result, the Woodies (45-18) clinched the Carolina League’s Southern Division first-half title and home field advantage throughout the entire playoffs, which will begin Sept. 4.

Yonny Hernandez and Tyler Depreta-Johnson were each 1-for-3, with Hernandez garnering three RBIs and Depreta-Johnson getting two to lead the Woodies.

Reid Anderson scattered six hits over his six innings of work to earn his third win of the season, while Francisco Villegas earned a three-inning save by retiring all nine batters he faced, including five by strikeout. Villegas struck out the side in the ninth to start the raucous celebration at the pitcher’s mound.

The first-half title is the second for the DEWD franchise; the team also won the second half of the 2017 season en route to earning the Carolina League co-championship with Lynchburg.

The Woodies wrapped up the title with seven games left in the first half; they’ll play those final games in Potomac (Monday through Wednesday) and Myrtle Beach (Thursday through Sunday, June 16). They’ll return home to open the second half against the Salem Red Sox on Thursday, June 20.

PHOTO CREDITS FOR GALLERY:

Team celebration photo by Matthew Edwards / Down East Wood Ducks

Reid Anderson prepares to throw a pitch during the early innings. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News

Yonny Hernandez swings at a pitch. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News

Tyler Depreta-Johnson looks at Ball 4 during the sixth inning; his base-loaded walk scored Sam Huff. Photo by Linda Whittington / Neuse News

Fransisco Villegas throws a pitch in the later innings of Sunday’s game. He earned a three-inning save by retiring all nine batters he faced. Photo by Linda Whittington / Neuse News

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