Despite a dominant day for Chad Donato, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers were not able match their eight-run performance from a night ago, and eventually fell in the second game of their series with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 2-0. It was only the second time this season that Fayetteville was left without a run scored, as the Woodpeckers collected seven hits, and stranded eight runners across the night.
For the second consecutive night, Fayetteville led off with an extra-base-hit, as Jacob Meyers snuck a double up the third base line to waltz his way to second base. Unfortunately for Meyers, he was eventually stranded at second base, just as the Woodpeckers had done last night as well. Against Kris Bubic, The Fayetteville bats went quiet over the next five frames, collecting five base hits, but striking out ten total times. The Woodpeckers came within one well-placed swing of blowing the game open in the sixth inning, when three-straight singles to open the frame loaded the bases. However, Bubic locked in to blow past the next three hitters, striking out the side and stranding all three runners on base.
Needing to match Bubic step-for-step, Chad Donato di just that. Exactly as Bubic had done, Donato allowed a leadoff runner to scoring position in the first inning on a walk and a stolen base, but Donato roared back for a resounding outing after that single blemish. Retiring the side in order following the free pass, Donato went on to face the minimum for the rest of his evening. While the right-hander did allow a pair of singles and a walk over his next five innings, he eliminated all three on two double plays and a caught stealing.
As Donato departed, forced to take a no decision, Brett Conine took over on the mound for the Woodpeckers. Allowing a leadoff single and a stolen base, Conine was able to log two quick outs, and looked in line to continue the great day from Donato, but after walking a pair of batters, Cristian Perez floated a ball into shallow right field. First baseman Scott Schreiber sprinted back to try and end the frame, but he lost the ball over his head as it fell to the earth. With the two outs, all hands for Wilmington raced on contact, and two runs came home to score. Conine (L, 1-1) was able to finish the seventh inning, and log a scoreless eighth, but never got the backup needed offensively.
Turning to a trio of relievers in the tense game, Josh Dye (W, 1-0) tossed the scoreless seventh inning for Wilmington to pick up the win in relief, as Holden Capps allowed a pair of baserunners in the eighth inning, and was replaced by Tyler Zuber, who spun four quick outs to log his 10th save of the season.
With the four-game tilt now split at one game apiece, Fayetteville will turn to Shawn Dubin to push them back ahead in game three on Saturday. Dubin comes off the best start of his career, spinning seven innings of one-run ball against Wilmington last week, and will try to do it again on the road, with first pitch coming at 6:05PM.
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.