Lipka, pitching power Wood Ducks to Game 1 playoff win over Myrtle Beach


KINSTON, Lenoir County - One down, one to go.

The Down East Wood Ducks are one win away from a spot in the Carolina League Championship series after beating the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 4-1, in Thursday's Game 1 of their series. The two teams now head to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where they will play at least one game, a seven-inning affair scheduled for 5:05 p.m. If the Pelicans win, a deciding third game, also seven innings, will follow.

Good pitching by Jonathan Hernandez, Jeffrey Springs and CD Pelham capped a night for the Wood Ducks that began when Matt Lipka hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first. The three pitchers struck out 10 and gave up the lone earned run.

The Wood Ducks didn't skate by easily after taking the 1-0 lead. Hernandez got out of two bases-loaded jams in the first two innings before settling down to retire 11 batters in a row. However, Myrtle Beach pitcher Mike Rucker retired 11 straight, too.

The Wood Ducks got the rest of their runs in the fourth inning. Five straight hits included a two-run double by Carlos Garay and a RBI single by Evans Van Hoosier. Roberto Caro had a RBI double for the Pelicans' only run.