The Woodpeckers earned their fourth shutout of the year and blanked an opponent for the second time this week in the series finale win over Carolina. With the victory, the Peckers snap the Mudcats three game streak while also avoiding a sweep at Segra Stadium. Fayetteville starter Yohan Ramirez completed the longest outing for a hurler this year, combining with reliever Hunter Martin for the Fayetteville's second one-hit game this season. Every Woodpecker in the lineup got on base, and 8 out of 9 registered a hit on the day as Fayetteville rode a six run bottom of the eighth to a 11-0 win over the Mudcats.
Yohan Ramirez (1-2) started the game on fire, facing the minimum through three innings, allowing just one hit in that span. The Woodpeckers offense gave Ramirez some cushion in the bottom of the third against Carolina starter Matt Smith (1-4). On the first pitch of the inning Miguelangel Sierra crushed a solo shot way over the left field fence for his sixth homer of the year and the first score of the game. Sierra has an eight game hit streak going, and has blasted a homer in all three at bats against Smith this year. Smith forced Jacob Meyers to line out for the first gone in the frame, but Jonathan Arauz put a runner on for the Woodpeckers knocking a base-hit on the next at bat. With two outs, Jake Adams stepped up to the plate; Arauz still standing at first. The Woodpeckers slugger went yard over the left field wall on a two-run shot for his sixth homer of the year and adding a team-high 30 RBIs to his resume as well. The two four-baggers in the third frame made it 3-0 Fayetteville, as the Woodpeckers took a lead for the first time in this series with Carolina.
Yohan Ramirez faced five batters in the top of the fourth inning, the most he faced in a frame on Sunday. The Woodpeckers hurler started the frame by fanning Zach Clark, but hit back-to-back Mudcats in Ryan Aguilar and Payton Henry to put two runners on with one away. Carolina left the pair stranded after Ramirez sent down Rob Henry and Pat McInerney in order to continue the scoreless outing. In the bottom of the fifth inning the Woodpeckers gave Ramirez a bigger cushion, pushing two more across home plate. Jonathan Arauz knocked his first extra-base hit of the day to start the frame, earning a leadoff double against Mudcats reliever Christian Taugner. Corey Julks followed with a single putting two runners on when Scott Manea got up to the plate. Manea knocked his 9th and 10th RBIs of the home stand scoring Arauz and Julks and extending the Fayetteville lead to 5-0.
Yohan Ramirez continued his stellar outing for the Woodpeckers only allowing one baserunner after that top of the fourth. The Fayetteville starter exited the game with two already away in the top of seventh, securing the longest outing for a pitcher in Woodpeckers history. Ramirez only allowed four Carolina players to reach base, giving up just one single, and allowing no runs in six and 2/3 innings of work. Ramirez also struck out eleven Mudcats, just one shy of the strikeout record he set earlier this year versus Carolina.
The Woodpeckers offense just could not stop scoring in the series finale, tacking on six more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Fayetteville sent 10 to the plate, tying the most in an inning at Segra Stadium this year. Scott Manea kicked things off by taking a pitch to the back from Chris Dula, making that the Carolina League leading eleventh hit by a pitch on Manea this year. Scott Schreiber followed with a walk and Michael Papierski smacked an RBI single that scored Manea for Papierski's sixth RBI of the year. After Miguelangel Sierra also got hit by a pitch, Dula finally got the first out of the frame after Jacob Meyers popped a foul ball to the Mudcats catcher Mario Feliciano. Still, the Woodpeckers offense would not let up as Jonathan Arauz sliced his third hit of the day on a two RBI double that scored Schreiber and Papierski and made it 8-0 Fayetteville. Corey Julks didn't waste any time making it 9-0 ripping an RBI base-hit of his own and bringing Sierra home. That was the final batter faced by Dula as the Mudcats called upon Clayton Andrews to get the final two outs of the frame. Andrews fanned the first batter he faced in Jake Adams, but gave up a double to Colton Shaver that scored Arauz. The final run of the inning came on a wild pitch from Andrews that sailed past Feliciano to make it 11-0 Fayetteville.
Hunter Martin picked up right where Yohan Ramirez left off, pitching a phenomenal two and 1/3 innings in relief for Fayetteville. Out of the bullpen Martin immediately struck out Pat McInerey to end the seventh and set the tone for the rest of the day. Martin finished the day allowing no hits and striking out five, including two Ks in the top of the 9th to seal the deal on the Woodpeckers 11-0 victory.
The Woodpeckers are now 5-8 against Carolina this year, but won't get another crack at the Mudcats until the second half of the year. Fayetteville was three hits away from breaking a franchise record, but did knock the most in Segra Stadium history with 14. The 'Peckers are now 20-23 while Carolina falls to 26-17. Next up the Woodpeckers travel to Winston-Salem for a four game tilt with the Dash. Game one is set for tomorrow at 7:00pm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.