June 14 Game Information
The Wood Ducks (48-19) play game two of their four game series with Myrtle Beach (20-44) tonight when they send lefty Jake Latz (5-1, 1.93) to the mound to face off with Pelicans right-hander Javier Assad (2-5, 3.54). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and the broadcast will begin at 6:50 p.m. on 960AM The Bull, and online on 960thebull.com, as well as the MiLB First Pitch and TuneIn Radio App.
LAST TIME OUT: The Wood Ducks picked up their second 1-0 win in three days, and their fourth of the season, topping Myrtle Beach in game one of a four game series. Sal Mendez picked up his fourth quality start in six starts this year, firing six scoreless to earn the win. Scott Engler worked 1.2 scoreless in relief, and Joe Kuzia recorded his fifth save, getting the final four outs. JP Martinez drove in the lone run at the plate with an infield single in the fourth.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: The Wood Ducks 48-19 (.716) record is the best in all of Minor League baseball, as is their +114 run differential, while their 26 road wins are also the most in MiLB.
STINGY STAFF: The Wood Ducks pitching staff has worked to a 1.42 ERA in the month of June, allowing just 17 earned runs in 12 games. They have combined to strike out 84 while walking just 30. The Woodies have only twice allowed more than two runs in a game this month.
KING OF THE HILL: John King has been outstanding for the Wood Ducks since being promoted on May 10. King picked up his first win Wednesday with a complete game, allowing just one unearned run against Potomac. King has struck out 32 while walking just four (8.0 K/BB) in six starts this year, while opponents are hitting just .176 against him. King's complete game was the first 9-inning complete game in the Carolina League this season, and second by a Wood Duck all-time, with the other coming from Richelson Pena, May 26, 2017 at Winston-Salem.
MASHING MARTINEZ: JP Martinez blasted his seven home run for the Woodies, and eighth overall this season Wednesday against Potomac. Martinez has now hit six homers over his last 16 games played, raising his slugging percentage from .239 to .369 over that span. Martinez now sports an isolated power of .179, despite hitting for a .190 average. Last year Martinez homered eight times in 60 games for Short-Season Spokane.
THE LATZ EFFECT: After struggling to start with the Wood Ducks, Jake Latz has turned it around, giving up just two earned runs over his last 33.2 innings of work, and winning his last five starts. He has lowered his ERA from 10.38 to 1.93 over that stretch, and has struck out 40 while walking just 11 in his las six outings. The Woodies are 7-2 overall in his 9 starts. He was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for May 27-June 2.
BAHR NONE!: Jason Bahr has been incredibly consistent for the Wood Ducks this season, giving up two earned runs or fewer in all 11 starts. He picked up his sixth win of the season on Tuesday to lead all Wood Ducks starters, and his 1.71 ERA leads the Carolina League, as does his 1.09 WHIP. Bahr was named a Carolina League All-Star on Tuesday.
MERRY CLINCHMAS: The Wood Ducks will be heading to the Carolina League playoffs for the second time in three seasons. The Wood Ducks won a share of the Mills Cup in 2017 when they claimed the second half crown with a record of 38-32.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Down East has won 48 games this season, with three games to play. The all-time Carolina League wins record for a half is 51, set by the Peninsula Pilots in 1980, and only five times in Caro-lina League history has a team finished a half with a winning percentage of .700 or higher. No team has won more than 47 games in a half since the Wood Ducks joined the league in 2017.
POZO PROVIDES THE PUNCH: Woodies catcher Yohel Pozo has put the ball in play all season, striking out just 15 times in 47 games played this year, the fewest strikeouts for any Wood Duck who has played in at least 25 games. His strikeout rate is just 7.9% this season, the third lowest mark in the Carolina League.
HOME RUN HAPPY: After starting the year slowly in the power de-partment, the Wood Ducks have now hit 17 home runs in their last 23 games, including five games with multiple home runs. Down East now is fourth in the Carolina League in home runs with 40.
FANTASTIC FIRSTS: The Wood Ducks have jumped out in front early and often this year, outscoring opponents 46-16 in the first inning of play. The Wood Ducks have scored first in 47 of their 67 game this season, going 39-8 (.830). Down East has scored first in 17 of their last 19 games.
MAGNIFICENT MAY: The Wood Ducks finished the month 20-9, their highest win total in a month in franchise history. They wrapped up the month 21 games above .500 and with a 7.5 lead in the Southern Divi-sion. They enjoyed three win streaks of 4+ games during May, including six straight victories to close the month.
SHOWTIME: Former Wood Duck Joe Palumbo made his Major League debut for the Texas Rangers, Saturday, going four innings, and giving up four runs on six hits, while striking out four. Peter Fairbanks was also called up by the club, Saturday, and made his debut Sunday, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out three in relief. They are the fifth and sixth Wood Duck in franchise history to make their Major League debut, joining Ricardo Rodriguez, Jeffrey Springs, C.D. Pelham, and Brett Martin.
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.
TOP-30 in Kinston: The Woodies now have seven Top-30 prospects as ranked by MLB Pipeline: 2. J.P. Martinez, 4. Anderson Tejeda, 5. Bubba Thompson, 6. Leody Taveras, 19. Diosbel Arias, 20. A.J. Alexy, and 21. Sam Huff.
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