August 15 Game Information
The Wood Ducks (30-21, 80-41) look to salvage the finale against the Woodpeckers (29-23, 60-61), tonight, when right-hander Scott Engler (3-0, 1.69) makes his first start of the season. Fayetteville will counter with right-hander Shawn Dubin (3-4, 4.87). First pitch is set for 7 p.m., and the pregame show will begin at 6:50 p.m., on 960AM The Bull, and online at 960thebull.com, as well as on the MiLB First Pitch, and TuneIn Radio Apps. Complete game notes are attached.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wood Ducks dropped their second straight, falling 8-2 to Fayetteville. Luis Garcia struck out a career-high 13 for the Woodpeckers, the most by a pitcher in the Carolina League this season. Sam Huff hit a solo home run, his 13th with the Wood Ducks, and 28th overall, while Yohel Pozo also blasted his 8th of the season to account for all of the offense. Reid Anderson allowed a pair of home runs and suffered the loss to drop to 6-7, while Jairo Beras gave up four runs in the eighth inning to help the 'Peckers pull away.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: Down East is 5 wins from tying the 1990 Port Charlotte Rangers for the most wins in a single season by a TEX High-A affiliate (85), and 12 wins from tying the 1989 Gastonia Rangers for the most wins in a single season by any TEX affiliate (92). The Woodies are currently on pace to finish with the highest winning percentage (.661) for a full-season TEX affiliate, a record also held by the 1989 Gastonia Rangers (.657).
SUPER SAM: Sam Huff belted his 13th home run for the Wood Ducks, Wednesday, which ties him for fourth in the Carolina League this sea-son. Huff also ranks second in SLG (.477), and third in OPS (.814).
SLUGGING SHERTEN: Sherten Apostel hit his first home run for the Wood Ducks, Saturday, and 16th overall on the season, and followed it up with a career-high four-RBI performance Sunday. He has now reached base safely in 16 consecutive games, posting a .326 average and a .466 OBP with 11 walks over that stretch, which dates back to July 25.
TERRY ON A TEAR: Curtis Terry hit his eighth home run for the Wood-ies Saturday against Frederick, and has now hit safely in 39 of his last 44 games, including 15 multi-hit games. He saw his second 12-game hitting streak (18-44, .409, 4 HR, 12 RBI) come to a close on Tuesday in Fayetteville. Terry now has 23 home runs on the season combined with his time in Hickory, and was named the Carolina League Player of the Month for the Month of July.
SELF-ADVOCATE: Josh Advocate struck out five batters in three scoreless innings, Tuesday, tallying a career-high five punchouts fort he second consecutive outing. The right-hander has struck out 29 in his last 23.0 innings (2.74 ERA), and has struck out three batters or more 12 times in 31 outings this season.
TOUGH AUGUST: After pitching to a team ERA of 2.62 through the first four months of the season, the Down East staff has taken a step back in August, working to a 5.13 mark. The Woodies have allowed 43 walks in 100 innings, while opponents are hitting .275 against them. The Woodies have also given up 12 home runs in 12 games, after allowing just 43 homers in their first 109 games.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRENGTH: It hasn't just been the Wood Ducks who have performed well this season, the Rangers organization as a whole has been among the best:
1. TEXAS RANGERS 405-305 .570
2. Tampa Bay Rays 432-328 .568
3. Los Angeles Dodgers 423-325 .566
LIGHTING THE MATCH: Michael Matuella has been surging for the Wood Ducks out of the bullpen as of late. Over his last 11 appearances he has worked to a 0.92 ERA (2 ER/19.2 IP), striking out 29 over his last 16 appearances. Over that stretch he has lowered his season ERA from 5.31 to 3.29.
COLE CRUISING: Cole Uvila struck out a career-high five batters in 2.2 perfect innings in relief, last Tuesday against Carolina, and repeated the feat in just two innings of work against the Keys, Saturday. This season Uvila boasts a 13.22 K/9 (71 K/48.1 IP), and has struck out three or more batters in 13 of his 30 appearances this season.
THE FUTURE IS HERE: Sam Huff clubbed a game-tying home run in the seventh inning of the SiriusXM Futures Game on Sunday to take home MVP honors. Huff becomes the second Ranger all-time to take home the award, joining Joey Gallo (2014). Huff has now hit 13 home runs for the Wood Ducks and 28 overall on the season.
A HALF FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS: The Down East Wood Ducks became just the sixth team in Carolina League history to finish a half with a winning percentage of .700 or better, while their 50 wins are the second most in any half in league history:
1. 1980 Peninsula (1st) 51-19 .729
2. 2019 DOWN EAST (1st) 50-20 .714
T3. 1982 Peninsula (2nd) 49-20 .710
T3. 1983 Lynchburg (1st) 49-20 .710
5. 1994 Wilmington (1st) 48-20 .706
6. 1980 Peninsula (2nd) 49-21 .700
SHOWTIME: Former Wood Duck Emmanuel Clase was called up to the Rangers, last Friday, and made his MLB debut Sunday, working 1.2 scoreless innings in a win over Detroit. Clase becomes the ninth Down East player to make it to The Show. He joins Ricardo Rodriguez ('17), C.D. Pelham ('18) and Peter Fairbanks ('19) to go from Advanced-A to the Ma-jors in a single season. Clase struck out 11 and did not allow an earned run over seven innings with the Woodies.
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.
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