The Woodpeckers lost their fourth one-run game in six tries to the Wood Ducks on the Sunday afternoon 6-5 loss. Down East never surrendered the lead they took right out the gate despite a multi-hit game from Fayetteville's Colton Shaver and a two-run bomb from Jacob Meyers. The Woodpeckers could not solve the Down East problem at Segra Stadium, falling victim to the second sweep of the year at the hands of the Wood Ducks.
Down East did not waste anytime in the first inning as lead-off batter Yonny Hernandez immediately knocked a single for an opening baserunner against Woodpeckers starter Chad Donato (3-3). With one away Anderson Tejada, doubled moving Hernandez to third and putting two runners in scoring position for Ryan Dorow. Fayetteville hurler Donato forced Dorow into a 5-3 putout, however that didn't stop Hernandez from charging home and scoring the first run of the game. With Tejada still on for Down East, Diosbel Arias blasted a two-run shot towards the left field hill at Segra Stadium. The homer was the first of the year for Arias and extended the Wood Ducks lead to 3-0 after one inning of play.
The Woodpeckers entered the bottom of the first already needing a comeback facing off against Wood Ducks starter Josh Advocate. Corey Julks ripped a two-bagger and was knocked in for a score with Jake Adams' 21st RBI of the year. Adams himself crossed home plate after an RBI line drive to left field from Colton Shaver. Shaver has been red-hot as of late, with a current hit streak of seven games in which he has 5 RBIs and is batting .500. The two scores chipped away at the Wood Ducks lead, however the Woodpeckers still trailed by one run after a single frame.
Chad Donato pitched four scoreless innings after a bumpy first inning on the mound. The right handed hurler dealt until the sixth inning, being replaced by Leovanny Rodriguez after allowing a lead-off single from Ryan Dorow. Donato finished the day allowing seven hits and striking out six batters. Rodriguez ensured Donato did not tack on any more runs on the day. The Woodpeckers reliever sent out the three batters he faced in the sixth to end the inning and leave Dorow stranded.
Rodriguez did not get so lucky against the Down East offense in the top of the seventh inning. Back-to-back singles from Eric Jenkins and Yonny Hernandez put two on for JP Martinez. The Wood Duck's outfielder laced a single into center field that knocked home both Jenkins and Hernandez. Martinez sent his RBI total into double digits on the year racking up nine and ten with the scores. The tallies also put the Wood Ducks back up three runs going into the bottom of the seventh. The Woodpeckers seemed poised to launch a rally after Scott Manea smacked a base-hit to open the frame for the offense on Wood Ducks reliever Alex Eubanks (2-0). Miguelangel Sierra reached on an error in the infield and Alfredo Angarita tacked on a single to load the bases for Jacob Meyers with no outs. That prompted Down East to make a pitching change and bring in southpaw Sal Mendez from the bullpen. Meyers made contact on the offering from Mendez, flying out to left field and allowing for Scott Manea to score. The Woodpeckers could not bring home Sierra or Angarita so they finished the frame down 5-3.
Now with the Woodpeckers second reliever Joey Gonzalez on the mound the Wood Ducks tacked on yet another run in the top of the eighth. A leadoff walk to Diosbel Arias meant Yanio Perez could knock in his eighth RBI of the season as Arias scored on a single to center field. That once again put the lead at 3 runs for the Wood Ducks. After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Woodpeckers reliever Joey Gonzalez fanned the side in the top of the ninth setting up a walk off opportunity for Fayetteville for the third time in the series.
Cole Uvila entered for Down East tasked with getting the final three outs of the game. Uvilla got both Manea and Sierra to pop up for two away quickly in the frame. Alfredo Angarita walked to finally get a runner on for Fayetteville. The next batter in Jacob Meyers stepped up to the plate and went yard over the right field fence to score Angarita and put the Woodpeckers within one. Meyers has now homered in consecutive days for the Woodpeckers. Despite the home run, Fayetteville couldn't tack on another score and dropped the series finale with the Wood Ducks 6-5.
Fayetteville falls to 15-16 and is now below .500 for the first time since April 8th. Meanwhile, Down East has now won ten in a row with a Carolina League best 23-8 record. The 'Peckers get a much needed day off tomorrow and return to action Tuesday at Zebulon. First pitch from Carolina is set for 7:00pm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.