The Woodpeckers dropped another game to division foe Carolina making Fayetteville 4-7 against the Mudcats on the year. Mario Feliciano racked up five total RBIs and Carolina smashed a pair of two run home runs to spoil the series opener at Segra Stadium. The Woodpeckers only mustered up one hit in the the final four innings to fall 9-2 in front of a sold out Superhero Night crowd.
JP France pitched a scoreless two frames to start the game for the Woodpeckers, but things got a little bumpier in the top of the the third. The first Carolina batter Devin Hairston reached first safely after an error at shortstop due to a broken bat that landed in the infield. Joantgel Segovia knocked Hairston home with a two-run shot to right center field. The bomb gave the Mudcats a 2-0 lead with nobody out and Ryan Aguilar at the plate. The Carolina first basemen smacked his second hit of the contest for a base-hit, followed by a walk from Tristen Lutz. Mario Feliciano crushed a two-bagger to center field that scored both Aguilar and Lutz making it 4-0 Mudcats. France retired the next three batters he faced to finally get out of the frame, but heading into the top of the fourth it was a similar rocky inning for the righty. Once again Carolina led off the fourth with a single this time from Nick Roscetti. The Mudcats continued to knock base-hits with two more in a row for Carolina from Devin Hairston and Joantgel Segovia. Segovia's drove in Hairston for his third RBI on the night and 16th of the season. The second run of the frame came home on Carolina's fourth straight single, roped by Aguilar into center field. Hairston scored off the hit, but Aguilar reached second and Segovia moved to third after Meyers bobbled the ball in the outfield for the fourth Woodpeckers error of the game.
With still nobody out, the Woodpeckers made a call to the bullpen, bringing in reliever Nick Hernandez with two runners in scoring position. Hernandez immediately struck out Tristen Lutz for out number one, Mario Feliciano tallied an RBI with a high fly out to center field that brought in Segovia on the sacrifice and made it 7-0 Mudcats on top. Hernandez finally finished the inning by getting the K against Rob Henry. The run scored with Hernandez on the mound was credited to JP France who's final line included allowing a career high seven runs, five of which were earned and a career high eight hits.
The Woodpeckers offense finally started to get going against Carolina starter Dylan File in the bottom of the the fourth inning. In the previous three frames File faced just two over the minimum allowing no runs on just two hits. The Mudcats hurler sent down the first two Woodpeckers of the inning in Corey Julks and Cotlon Shaver. With two outs, Scott Schreiber earned his first hit in a Fayetteville uniform, to start off a string of base-hits from the Woodpeckers. Scott Manea and Jonathan Arauz both hit singles of their own, Arauz's sending Schreiber across home plate to put the 'Peckers on the board. Manea and Arauz were left stranded to end the frame, however the Mudcats offense was halted in the top of the fifth thanks Nick Hernandez fanning the side.
Miguelangel Sierra's hot bat started the bottom of the fifth with a base-hit, extending his hit streak to seven straight games. Jacob Meyers followed by reaching first with a fielders choice, while a throwing error on the grounder moved Sierra over to third. Corey Julks recorded his 15th RBI of the year with a high fly ball into left center field gloved by Segovia that allowed for Sierra to score. Meyers however was thrown out after the catch on a 7-5-3 putout that ended the inning with Fayetteville trailing 7-2.
Still on the mound for Fayetteville, Hernandez registered the first two outs of the sixth, allowing one baserunner in Ryan Aguliar off a walk. The 'Peckers sent in Leovanny Rodriguez to get the final out, but the righty reliever gave up a two-run homer to the first batter he faced in Mario Feliciano. That was the team best seventh bomb of the year for Feliciano and also gave the Mudcats a 9-2 lead after six innings of play.
The home run was the last score of the game, as Michael Peterson and JT Hintzen combined to pitch four innings of scoreless ball in relief for Carolina. The duo only allowed one hit, each striking out a Woodpecker apiece. Jacob Billingsley came in on the mound for the final inning and 1/3 for Fayetteville, sending down all four batters he faced through the top of the ninth. A seven run comeback was just too big of an ask for the Fayetteville offense as the Woodpeckers ultimately fell 9-2 to the Mudcats at home.
Fayetteville is 4-7 against Carolina this year, having given up 13 home runs to the Mudcats this season. The Woodpeckers are now 19-22 while Carolina's record improves to 25-16. The 'Peckers have a chance for redemption tomorrow in game two. First pitch is set for 7:00pm 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.