May 20 Game Information
The Wood Ducks (30-14) continue their homestand tonight as they welcome the Potomac Nationals (16-26) to begin a four game series. The Woodies will send lefty Jake Latz (1-1, 3.93) to the hill to face off with P-Nats righty Malvin Pena (2-2, 7.80) at 7 p.m. It's Dogs and Dogs night at Grainger Stadium, featuring $1 hot dogs and $1 entry for all dogs into the ballpark. 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 Apps. For tickets and more information visit woodduksbaseball.com or call (252) 686-5172.
LAST TIME OUT: Sam Huff lined a walk-off single to right-center with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth, as the Woodies defeated the Dash, 1-0, to salvage the finale of the three-game series. Huff and Yonny Hernandez each had two hits in the ballgame. Sal Mendez fired six scoreless innings in his second start of the season. Joe Kuzia delivered a scoreless seventh, and Joe Barlow struck out five in the final two innings to earn his fourth win of the year.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: The Woodies are now a perfect 8-0 on Sundays and 4-0 when playing as the Patos Joyuyos. They are now 7-1 when tied after eight innings of play. The win was their sixth shutout win of the year, and second 1-0 win, with the other coming April 27th against Fayetteville. It was also their second walk-off win of the year, as Huff joins Ryan Dorow, who hit a walk-off home run against Fayetteville, April 27.
ROAD WARRIORS: The Wood Ducks 18 road wins this season are the most in all of minor league baseball. They are 18-3 on the road, but just 12-11 at Grainger Stadium. At home the Woodies are batting .235, with an OPS of .642, and an ERA of 3.09, and scoring an average of 3.7 runs-per-game. On the road the Woodies boast an average of .261 to go along with an OPS of .726, and an ERA of 2.40, while scoring 5.2 runs-per-game. By comparison, the Woodies won 12 road games in the entire first half last season, and just 11 in the second half. The Woodies now have more road wins than Salem (16), Potomac (16), and Myrtle Beach (16) have total wins.
KING OF THE HILL: Wood Ducks lefty John King has been sensational through two starts this season. He allowed one earned run in six innings his first time out against the Dash on May 12, and then on May 18, fired seven innings on 71 pitches, allowing just one unearned run on two hits, while striking out eight, one shy of his career-high. Despite King's two quality starts, the Wood Ducks have scored a combined three runs in those games, and as a result he has endured a pair of no-decisions.
POZO PROVIDES THE PUNCH: Woodies catcher Yohel Pozo has heated up at the plate as of late. He is riding a 10-game on-base streak on which he has gone 16-36 (.444) with two home runs and 7 RBI. Over that stretch he has raised his average from .222 to .298, with hits in nine of the ten games.
STRIKEOUT MACHINES: Joe Barlow has racked up the strikeouts this season for the Wood Ducks out of the bullpen. He has recorded 38 strikeouts in 20 innings, and has struck out multiple hitters in 12 of his 14 outings, including a season-high six strikeouts on Sunday. Demarcus Evans has also been on a strikeout frenzy, fanning 30 in 17.2 innings this season. He has multiple strikeouts in 11 of his 14 appearances, including a season-high six against Potomac on Wednesday.
HUFF IS HERE!: Sam Huff was promoted to Down East from Hickory May 9, and hit his first Carolina League home run Friday against the Dash, and then picked a walk-off single to send Down East to a 1-0 win Sunday. Huff also doubled four times in his first seven games played at the Adv.-A level. The 21-year-old catcher posted an OPS of 1.165 in Single-A, and led all of minor league baseball with 15 home runs at the time of his pro-motion. The Phoenix native is the 21st ranked prospect in the Rangers organization.
DOUBLE THE FUN: Emmanuel Clase, Peter Fairbanks, and Tyler Phillips have all gotten the promotion to Double-A Frisco so far this season. Phillips allowed three runs in five innings, picking up two strikeouts in his first start on Tuesday. Fairbanks, in three games, has struck out eight in four innings, and has yet to allow a base runner. Clase has consistently hit 101 on the radar gun, but has allowed 10 ER in 9.2 IP so far with the Riders.
AMAZING APRIL: The Woodies 18-8 record in April is their best winning percentage (.692) of any month in team history, while the 18 victories equals the best month all-time (May 2018), when the Woodies went 18-11 (.621). The 10 games above .500 is also most in team history (previous high, +8, May 27, 2018).
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.
SHOWTIME: Former Wood Duck Brett Martin made his MLB debut for the Rangers April 19, 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.
TOP-30 in Kinston: 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, 19. Diosbel Arias, 20. A.J. Alexy, 21. Sam Huff and 24. Demarcus Evans.
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Carolina League Stories from May 20, 2019
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- May 20 - Carolina Mudcats Game Information - Carolina Mudcats
- Winston-Salem Dash Game Notes (May 20 vs. Fayetteville) - Winston-Salem Dash
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- Myrtle Beach Pelicans Game Notes: May 20 at Frederick - Myrtle Beach Pelicans
- Homestand Preview - Potomac Nationals
- May 20 Game Information - Down East Wood Ducks
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