April 25 Game Information
Tonight the Wood Ducks (13-7) and Hillcats (12-8) close out their three game series. Right-hander A.J. Alexy (0-3, 5.84) will make his fourth start of the year for Down East, while righty Justin Garza (1-3, 7.64) takes the mound for Lynchburg. First pitch is set for 7 p.m., and the broadcast is available beginning at 6:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online at 960thebull.com as well as the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio Apps. It's Thirsty Thursday at Grainger Stadium where fans can purchase $1 Busch Light or Natural Light 12oz cans presented by Budweiser. For tickets and more information visit woodducksbaseball.com or call (252) 686-5172.
LAST TIME OUT: For the second straight night the Wood Ducks were done in by a five run inning put up by the Hillcats, in a 7-4 loss. Jake Latz lasted just 1.1 innings, giving up a bases loaded walk, followed by a 3-run triple to Steve Kwan in the second inning. Yanio Perez doubled twice in the ballgame, and Yonny Hernandez collected his second straight two-hit game. Tyreque Reed picked up an RBI for the fifth straight game.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: The loss last night was the Woodies first against a left-handed starter this year, despite Juan Hillman lasting just 3.2 in-nings. It was also the first time losing a game when an opponent's starter didn't make it through five innings of work.
LACKING IN SUPPORT: A.J. Alexy is set to make his fourth start of the season tonight. He has taken the loss in all three outings this season, but his run support has been by far the worst out of any Woodies starter, with the team scoring an average of 1.33 runs behind him, including a 2-1 loss to Carolina, a 5-0 loss to Lynchburg, and a 4-3 loss to Wilming-ton.
CARTER CRUSHING THE WOODIES: In five games played against the Wood Ducks this season, Jodd Carter has taken full advantage, going 9-15, with three doubles, three home runs, four RBI, eight runs scored, and six walks. His slash line against Down East is .600/.714/1.400, and he has just one homer against all other opponents this year.
YONNY SETS THE TABLE: Yonny Hernandez has been elevated to the leadoff spot in the order the past four games, and he has thrived in his new role. The Venezuela native is slashing .429/.556/.571 when batting first in the order.
COLE CRUISING: Cole Uvila has been outstanding in his three appear-ances since being called up to Down East last week. He has combined to strike out seven in four innings, allowing just two walks, while he has yet to give up a hit or a run.
REEDICULOUS: Everything has been clicking for Tyreque Reed at the plate the last five games. He is 6-16, with three doubles and two home runs, and six RBI. Reed has increased his slugging percentage from .239 to .419 over that stretch. Last season he ranked third in the South Atlan-tic League with a slugging percentage of .503.
FANTASTIC FRANCISCO: Francisco Villegas has not given up a run though his first six relief outings for the Woodies this season. Villegas has given up just two hits and a walk, while striking out seven, and he has also recorded a save. His WHIP sits at a minuscule 0.32, while opponents are batting just .069 against him.
RAGS AT THE HELM: Corey Ragsdale takes over as skipper for the Wood Ducks in 2019. Ragsdale will remain the Rangers Minor League Field Coordinator, while assuming a managerial seat for the first time since 2015, when he led the Hickory Crawdads to a South Atlantic League Championship, the second of his career.
MOVING ON UP: Emmanuel Clase made his first appearance for Double-A Frisco on Tuesday, firing a scoreless eighth inning, picking up a strikeout, to earn the hold. He is the first Wood Duck to earn a promo-tion this season. In six appearances for the Wood Ducks, the righty went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and picked up a save. He allowed just four hits and a walk in seven innings of work, striking out 11. He held opponents to a .167 average while posting a WHIP of 0.71.
SHOWTIME: Former Wood Duck Brett Martin made his MLB debut for the Rangers Friday night, firing a scoreless ninth inning in a 7-2 loss to the Astros. Martin needed just nine pitches to get through the inning, recording three ground ball outs. The left-handed reliever becomes the fourth Wood Duck in franchise history to make their Major League de-but, joining Ricardo Rodriguez, Jeffrey Springs, and C.D. Pelham. Martin pitched for the Woodies in their inaugural season in 2017, helping Down East to a share of the Carolina League Championship.
AND THE AWARD GOES TO: The 2019 Wood Ducks are a heavily decorated bunch. Tyler Phillips was recognized as the Rangers Nolan Ryan Pitcher of the Year after posting an 11-5 record and a 2.67 ERA in Single-A Hickory. He struck out 124 while walking just 14 in 128.0 innings. Demarcus Evans was named the organization's Reliever of the Year. In 35 appearances out of the Crawdads bullpen, Evans pitched to a 1.77 ERA and struck out 103 batters while walking just 27. He also converted all nine save opportunities. Infielder Ryan Dorow earned the Rangers defensive player of the year honors. He started games at all four infield positions, in addition to a game in the outfield, committing just 9 errors in 418 chances for a fielding percentage of .978.
TOP-30 in Kinston: With the promotion of Julio Pablo Martinez to Down East on April 17, the Woodies now have eight Top-30 prospects as ranked by MLB Pipeline: 2. J.P. Martinez, 4. Anderson Tejeda, 5. Bubba Thompson, 6. Leody Taveras, 14. Tyler Phillips, 19. Diosbel Arias, 20. A.J. Alexy, and 24. Demarcus Evans.
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