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Red Sox Blast Three Homers, Clobber Woodpeckers

Fayetteville Drops Series Opener to Salem at Segra Stadium
(JOSEPH DWYER )
July 1, 2019

The Fayetteville Woodpeckers could not keep up with the high flying Salem Red Sox offense as the visiting squad rode two four run innings to a 9-3 victory. Salem crushed three bombs and Red Sox starter Jhonathan Diaz pitched seven shutout innings in Salem's third victory over the Woodpeckers this

The Fayetteville Woodpeckers could not keep up with the high flying Salem Red Sox offense as the visiting squad rode two four run innings to a 9-3 victory. Salem crushed three bombs and Red Sox starter Jhonathan Diaz pitched seven shutout innings in Salem's third victory over the Woodpeckers this half. Scott Schreiber finally smashed a three-run homer that put Fayetteville on the board, but the Woodpeckers did not have a rally in the tank. The Woodpeckers have now given up 34 runs in the last five games at home.

Chad Donato (3-9) started the night on the mound for the Woodpeckers, pitching two innings of scoreless ball to go along with three strikeouts. With still no score in the game, the third proved a little bumpier for the Woodpeckers starting pitcher, starting with a leadoff solo shot off the bat of Samuel Miranda. It was the first homer of the season for Miranda and made it 1-0 Salem right away in the frame. Salem didn't stop there, first a single from Nick Lovullo put another on the base paths and then with one away Pedro Castellanos knocked Lovullo home for the second tally of the day. Ryan Fitzgerald, Keith Curcio, and Marcus Wilson all followed up with base hits of their own that scored two more runs and extended the Red Sox lead to 4-0. Salem finally hit into a double play to end the inning, but the damage was done and the Woodpeckers found themselves in a big hole early in the contest. The Red Sox continued to add to their lead in the next inning with Nick Lovullo launching a solo shot of his own off Donato to make it 5-0 Salem.  
In the top of the sixth the Red Sox offense continued to pour on the runs, tallying four more runs off of two pitchers for Fayetteville. Starter Chad Donato struck out the first batter he faced in Marcus Wilson, catching the Salem outfielder looking for his sixth strikeout of the game. The next batter in Edgar Corcino smacked a double to put another runner in scoring position and the Woodpeckers decided to make a pitching change. Leovanny Rodriguez entered for his 24th relief appearance of the year, tasked with making the final two outs of the frame. Rodriguez walked Tanner Nishioka right away, and then gave up a base-clearing triple to Samuel Miranda that made it 7-0 Salem. The Fayetteville reliever struck out Lovullo to put two away, but then Jagger Rusconi stepped up the the plate and smoked a two-run shot to left field to add a pair of runs to the already lopsided Salem lead.  
The Woodpeckers offense could not crack Salem starter Jhonathan Diaz (4-6) for his entire seven inning outing. Fayetteville got their only hit against Diaz to leadoff the second frame, as Jake Adams chopped an infield single to Red Sox short stop Ryan Fitzgerald that the Salem short stop could not corral. Adams was left stranded as the Diaz struck out Fayetteville in order to end the second inning. Against Diaz the Woodpeckers only got three more baserunners, Scott Schreiber drew a walk in the third and was left stranded after a double play ended the inning. Chandler Taylor was hit by a pitch in the fifth, but was caught stealing off a perfect throw from Salem catcher Miranda to Jagger Rusconi at second. Diaz walked Miguelangel Sierra in the same frame, but the Woodpeckers runner never left first as Scott Manea grounded out to end the inning. All in all, Diaz pitched seven scoreless innings, facing just two over the minimum, and striking out seven Woodpeckers batters.
Salem finally made a pitching change in the bottom of eighth sending out Zach Schellenger, with the Red Sox holding a favorable 9-0 lead on Fayetteville. The Woodpeckers offense finally found some life as Jonathan Arauz and Scott Manea both knocked singles to put two runners on for Scott Schreiber. The Woodpeckers hurler smoked a home run to left center that finally put Fayetteville on the board and cut the Salem lead to six runs. With two gone, the Woodpeckers laced two more singles, scaring the Red Sox enough to make another pitching change to get the final out of the frame. Andrew Schwaab answered the call, fanning Jake Adams to keep the 9-3 Red Sox lead.  
The top of the ninth was a three up, three down inning for Fayetteville's second reliever in Yeremi Ceballos. Miguelangel Sierra did reach on a walk in the bottom of the ninth against Schwaab, but the deficit was just too much for the Woodpeckers to overcome ultimately falling 9-3 to the Red Sox. The Woodpeckers are now 6-6 in the second half and in a tie for second place in the South Division. The Red Sox on the other hand are 8-4 in this half and control the North Division at the moment. Fayetteville has a chance for redemption in game two tomorrow, with Luis Garcia set to climb the hill. First pitch from Segra Stadium is set 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 [email protected].