The Woodpeckers dropped game two to Carolina, falling behind 0-2 to the Mudcats in the three game tilt. The Woodpeckers rallied from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game after four innings of play, however a pair of sacrifice flies gave Carolina a lead they would not waiver. Jonathan Arauz's 3-for-4 day as well as a nine strikeout effort from the Woodpeckers bullpen was not enough to propel Fayetteville to victory, as the Mudcats spoiled the Saturday showdown with a 6-4 Segra Stadium win.
Woodpeckers starter Chad Donato (3-5) pitched two scoreless innings to start the game, allowing just one hit. In the top of the third, Donato retired the first batter he faced forcing Devin Hairston into a 6-3 putout. With one already gone, Joantgel Segovia reached after Woodpeckers third basemen Colton Shaver committed an error while trying to field a grounder bouncing his way. The next Mudcat up to the plate, Ryan Aguilar, knocked a quick single that moved Segovia to second and put Carolina in striking distance. Donato however forced Tristen Lutz to fly out to center field, meaning any runs that followed would be unearned against he Fayetteville hurler. With two gone and a pair of Mudcats on the base paths, Peyton Henry stepped up to the plate. Henry crushed a homer over the right field wall to Healy's Bar to give the Mudcats a 3-0 lead with one crack of the bat. It was Henry's sixth bomb of the year and his fourth against the Woodpeckers this season. Carolina tacked on another score in the next frame, finally getting an earned run against Chad Donato. Zach Clark smacked his second hit of the day with a one out double and made his way home thanks to an RBI base-hit from Devin Hairston. The tally made it 4-0 Carolina heading into the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Woodpeckers offense couldn't serve up a hit or a baserunner in the first three frames versus Mudcats starter Nelson Hernandez (5-1). Finally in the bottom of the fourth Jacob Meyers changed that, leading off with a single laced into right field. Jonathan Arauz added his first base-hit of the day and Corey Julks drew a walk to load the bases for Fayetteville with no outs. Jake Adams stepped to the plate for Fayetteville and smashed two balls just barely foul on the left field side, eventually striking out for the first away in the frame. Colton Shaver put the Woodpeckers on the board in the next at bat, slicing an RBI single that scored Meyers. With the bases still loaded, Scott Manea roped a two-bagger to left field that brought home Arauz and Julks. Manea's double put the Woodpeckers within one run and made it 8 RBIs in the past five games alone for the Fayetteville slugger. With the tying run in Shaver 90 feet away, Scott Schreiber skied a fly ball to deep left field that sent Shaver home and knotted the game at 4 apiece.
The tie did not last long as the Mudcats picked up another pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Chad Donato allowed the first three batters he faced to get on, loading the bases on a single and two walks. With the final walk to Payton Henry and Carolina's home run leader Mario Feliciano due up, the Woodpeckers went to the bullpen to get out of the jam. Fayetteville sent Tommy Dejuneas to the mound, making his 14th appearance in relief for the Woodpeckers this year. Dejuneas sent down the three batters he faced in the inning, however back-to-back fly outs from Feliciano and Pat McInerney allowed two runs to score on the sacrifices giving Carolina a 6-4 lead.
Tommy Dejuneas continued a stellar relief outing for Fayetteville in the next two innings, racking up five strikeouts and allowing no runs or hits. Willy Collado came in for the final two frames, picking up where Dejuneas left off giving up no runs on just two hits. In fact, from the final out in the top of the sixth through the eighth inning the two Woodpeckers relievers struck out seven straight Mudcats combined. The 'Peckers bullpen performance was not enough to inspire a comeback for Fayetteville. The Woodpeckers offense mustered just four baserunners in the final frames of the game on just two hits in that span to ultimately fall 6-4 to Carolina at home.
With the win Carolina clinches the three game tilt and also takes a 8-4 season series lead over the Woodpeckers. Fayetteville moves to 19-23 on the season while the Mudcats extend their win streak to three and are now 26-16 this year. The 'Peckers looks to avoid a sweep tomorrow at home in the finale with Carolina. First pitch is set for 2:00pm from Segra Stadium.
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.