The Fayetteville Woodpeckers spoiled an Independence Day celebration at BB&T Ballpark on Thursday, as they knocked off the Winston-Salem Dash to open their three-game series by a 4-2 final. Fayetteville sliced a pair of home runs to left field for enough offensive support on the night, while Austin Hansen and Nivaldo Rodriguez combined for a quality tandem on the mound, with neither right-hander surrendering an earned run.
Burning through the first two frames, both Jonathan Stiever for Winston-Salem and Rodriguez for Fayetteville were perfect into the third inning, but it was Stiever (L, 1-2) who was hit hardest when his perfect streak broke. A one-out single for Scott Schreiber in the third inning made him the first baserunner of the game, and Schreiber was quickly the first run of the game when the next batter, Ruben Castro, lofted a line drive over the left field wall to give Fayetteville a 2-0 lead. As Rodriguez stranded a two-out single in the home half of the third, he was rewarded for his efforts just a few minutes later, when Corey Julks lined the first pitch of the fourth inning once again to left field to make it 3-0. Making sure not to waste the given lead, Rodriguez (W, 3-3) torched the Dash over his five innings on the mound, as the righty faced only one over the minimum, allowing only two infield singles and no walks.
Following the tandem system, Austin Hansen took over for Fayetteville on the mound, but did not receive proper defense to open his day. After a fielding error at third base extended the sixth inning, Hansen went on to allow an RBI double to Mitch Roman. Roman stole third base on the very next pitch, and later scored on a wild pitch. While the lead had suddenly minimized to only one run, Hansen was finally able to lock in on the strike zone. Each of the first six outs for Hansen came by strikeout, as the righty silenced the Dash offense for the rest of the night, allowing only two hits through the ninth inning.
After a rough offensive spell over the latter half of the game, the Fayetteville offense finally broke through once again for some insurance in the ninth inning against Jose Nin. After Chandler Taylor led off the frame with a double off the center field wall, the speedster would quickly score on a throwing error by the second baseman to give Fayetteville a two-run lead again.
When Hansen hit a pitch limit after two quick strikeouts in the ninth inning, Joey Gonzalez came on for a one out save. Gonzalez (S, 1) only needed four pitches to strike out Craig Dedlow swinging to lock in the win.
Snapping their three-game losing streak, Fayetteville is still only 2-8 over their last ten games as they try to reclimb the South Division standings in the second half. As they currently stand in third place, Fayetteville will try to continue the upward trend when they try to take the three-game series tomorrow. Jojanse Torres will start on the mound for Fayetteville, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00PM.
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.