Hoping to break a rough stretch of dropping five-straight series openers, Fayetteville once again came short on Monday night, dropping their first of four in Winston-Salem, 6-2. The Dash plated three runs in the first inning and never had to look back as the eight-game roadtrip for Fayetteville opens on a sour note. The Woodpeckers pitching staff walked more batters than they struck out as the offense was shutout over the first six innings in the loss. Fayetteville collected eight hits on the day, but only managed to go 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, as the Woodpeckers are now 8-16 when facing opponents inside the South Division.
Pouncing on Crsitian Castillo, the Woodpeckers (20-24) got a pair of quick baserunners against the lefty starter before there were any outs in the first inning, But Castillo locked in and struck out the next three batters to close the frame. Castillo (W, 2-5) would work around scattered baserunners through the night, but logged zeros on the scoreboard through the first six innings. It wasn't until the seventh inning that Fayetteville was finally able to strike. With two outs, a hit batter and a walk set the table for Jacob Meyers to drive in the pair when he doubled to left-center field. Meyers finished the day going 2-for-5 with his double, as Fayetteville collected four two-baggers on the night, two by Corey Julks, and one by Colton Shaver, who leads the Carolina League with 15.
Unfortunately for Fayetteville, their offensive push came much too late, as Winston-Salem (22-21) attacked Shawn Dubin early and often. Even though Dubin (L, 0-3) struck out a pair of batter quickly in the first inning, that third out was more difficult to record. Dubin allowed a walk and a trio of base hits, including a pair of doubles, in the frame as the Dash pushed three runs across. After a brief intermission in the second inning, Winston-Salem found Dubin again in the third, after a walk and a pair of singles loaded the bases, a groundout hit by Jordan George brought a fourth run across. Needed to go as long as possible, Dubin was able to hold strong from there, tossing a scoreless fourth inning before being lifted in the fifth.
Tanner Duncan took over for Dubin in the fifth inning and quickly retired the side, but found his own trouble in the sixth, as a leadoff single eventually became another run for Winston-Salem following a groundout, a flyout, and eventually another single, this time by Steele Walker. Finishing the sixth inning, Jacob Billingsley tossed the final two frames for Fayetteville on the mound, and while Billingsley was efficient in the seventh inning, that wasn't the case in the eighth. Billingsley needed 43 pitches to record three outs in the eighth inning, as the right-hander walked a pair and allowed a pair of infield singles, allowing the Dash to score their sixth run. Down to their final three outs, the Woodpeckers offense went down in order against closer Luis Ledo for Winston-Salem.
The top three in the lineup for Fayetteville had great performances at the plate, as Meyers went 2-for-5, Corey Julks went 2-for-4 with two doubles, and Jonathan Arauz went 1-for-2 with a single and two walks drawn. Falling back to 10 ½ games behind the Down East Wood Ducks, the Woodpeckers will look to even the four-game tilt tomorrow and kickstart a new winning streak at 7:00PM. Brett Conine will make his second start for Fayetteville after shining in his debut last week.
The Fayetteville Woodpeckers are the Advanced Single-A affiliate of the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros and play in their Inaugural Season at beautiful Segra Stadium in downtown Fayetteville. Segra Stadium, a $40 million state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue, features space for over 5,200 fans, natural grass, a 25x70 LED video scoreboard, six luxury suites, four field boxes, the premium AEVEX Veterans Club level, Healy's Bar and outdoor party deck, a kid's zone, and more. With a rich history of baseball in the city of Fayetteville and Cumberland County, the Woodpeckers are thrilled to write a new chapter with their inaugural campaign on Hay Street. Fans are encouraged to visit FayettevilleWoodpeckers.com to purchase tickets, learn more about the team, and find out about upcoming events and promotions at the ballpark. Fans may also reach the Woodpeckers by visiting the BB&T Box Office in front of Segra Stadium, calling (910) 339-1989, or emailing Woodpeckers@Astros.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.