August 16 Game Information
The Wood Ducks return home to face the Wilmington Blue Rocks in a three-game series tonight at 7 p.m. to kick off Kinston Indians throwback weekend. Right-hander Tim Bennan (4-1, 2.17) will make the start for the Wood Ducks, opposed by Blue Rocks lefty Rito Lugo (2-3, 2.31). The broadcast 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 App. It's Mother Earth Friday at Grainger Stadium with postgame fireworks presented by WNCT. For tickets and more information visit woodducksbaseball.com or call 252-686-5172. Complete game notes are attached.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wood Ducks Exploded for 11 runs on 14 hits to throttle the Woodpeckers, 11-1 and salvage the finale. Yanio Perez hit a home run as part of a career-high four-hit, five-RBI performance. Josh Altmann added two hits and 3 RBI, while Yohel Pozo tacked on three hits and scored three runs. Scott Engler made his first start of the season and struck out five in three scoreless innings, while Cole Uvila picked up the win, recording a career-high six strikeouts in three innings in relief.
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). Also, no team in Kinston baseball history has ever won 90 games in a season.
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 (.467), and fifth in OPS (.798).
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 17 consecutive games, posting a .320 average and a .460 OBP with 12 walks over that stretch, which dates back to July 25.
TERRY ON A TEAR: Curtis Terry hit his ninth home run for the Woodies Thursday against Fayetteville, and has now hit safely in 40 of his last 45 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 24 home runs on the season combined with his time in Hickory. He 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 for the 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 4.79 mark. The Woodies have allowed 49 walks in 109 innings, while opponents are hitting .266 against them. The Woodies have also given up 13 home runs in 13 games, after allowing just 43 homers in their first 109 games.
ARIAS ABOARD: Diosbel Arias tallied five hits over three games against Fayetteville, and now ranks fifth in the Carolina League with 117 hits on the season. He also is among league leaders in RBI (56, 8th), total bases (158, T-8), and walks (51, 9th).
ORGANIZATIONAL STRENGTH: It hasn't just been the Wood Ducks who have performed well this season, the Rangers organi-zation as a whole has been among the best:
1. TEXAS RANGERS 409-309 .570
2. Tampa Bay Rays 436-334 .566
3. LA Dodgers 426-329 .564
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 six in three scoreless innings Thursday in Fayetteville. Uvila had also struck out five in two of his previous four outings. This season Uvila boasts a 13.50 K/9 (77 K/51.1 IP), and has struck out three or more batters in 14 of his 31 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 Majors 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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