Acuna’s Walk-Off Slam Shocks RiverDogs in Extras
Kinston, NC - Luisangel Acuna hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the tenth inning to turn a two-run deficit into a 7-5 win for the Down East Wood Ducks over the Charleston RiverDogs at Grainger Stadium on Tuesday night. The RiverDogs brought a 5-2 lead into the home half of the frame, but couldn’t hold on, losing a third straight game for just the second time this season. At 5-2, the Wood Ducks remain the only team in the league with a winning record against the RiverDogs.
Jonathan Embry collected an RBI double and Beau Brundage hit a two-run home run in the opening half of the tenth to take the three-run lead. Nomar Rojas entered in search of the save and struck out the Alejandro Osuna to begin the frame. The right-hander then allowed a run-scoring single to Angel Aponte that cut the deficit to 5-3. Jayce Easley walked and Aaron Zavala followed with a single to load the bases. Acuna worked the count to 2-2 before ending the game with the blast to center field. The grand slam was the third allowed by the RiverDogs in the last week.
Matt Dyer had staked the RiverDogs (80-35) to an early 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the first inning. In the second, Garrett Hiott doubled that advantage with a sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the second, Cristian Inoa hit a solo home run of his own to make it 2-1. In the last of the sixth, the Wood Ducks (69-46) tied the game on Cody Freeman’s RBI groundout to short.
The RiverDogs finished the game with ten hits led by Ben Troike’s three. Dyer, Brundage and Luis Leon added two each. Dyer extended his hitting streak to eight games with the early home run. Down East was paced by Zavala’s three hits as they finished with 11 as a team.
Starting pitcher Ben Brecht went 5.0 innings and allowed one run on five hits. Ian Leatherman also allowed on run over 2.0 innings of work with three strikeouts. Following his 2.0 innings of scoreless ball, Andrew Gross lowered his ERA to 1.69 and was in line to earn the win before the dramatic finish. Rojas was saddled with the loss after surrendering five runs on three hits in 0.1 innings.
The teams will square off again on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. RHP Seth Johnson (5-6, 2.94) will get the start for the RiverDogs against RHP Josh Stephan (0-0, 5.63) of Down East.