The Fayetteville Woodpeckers and the Salem Red Sox were both scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when Jake Adams smashed a solo shot to finally put Fayetteville on the board. That would be the only score the Woodpeckers all night as Salem tacked on two runs against Shawn Dubin which was ultimately enough for a Red Sox series finale victory. Salem pitching fanned 13 Fayetteville batters on the way to a sweep and the 2-1 win at Segra Stadium.
From the get go it was a pitching duel between Woodpeckers starter Brett Conine and Red Sox starter Thad Ward. Conine retired seven straight before finally giving up a hit in the top of the third inning to Samuel Miranda. The Woodpeckers hurler forced out Miranda in a fielder's choice and then got Jagger Rusconi to fly out to center field to end the third inning without a run coming through. Conine continued to deal for the next two innings, allowing two baserunners but still holding Salem scoreless for the length of his outing. The Woodpeckers starter went five innings, facing just two over the minimum, striking out seven and keeping Salem off the board completely.
Red Sox starter Thad Ward matched Conine pitching three scoreless innings against the Woodpeckers and allowing just one hit into the bottom of fourth. With one gone, Fayetteville slugger Jake Adams stepped to the plate and launched a solo shot over the left field wall to break the tie and put the Woodpeckers up 1-0. It was the 13th homer and 53rd RBI of the year for Adams. Jonathan Arauz followed up with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch, putting an insurance run in scoring position for the Woodpeckers. Arauz moved to third on a ground out, hit into by Jeremy Pena, but was ultimately left stranded there as Ward fanned Scott Manea to end the frame. Ward did not allow another run in his outing, going six full frames and setting a record for opposing pitcher's at Segra Stadium with 10 strikeouts on the night.
With a tandem scheduled for the Woodpeckers Shawn Dubin (2-4) came in for Fayetteville in the top of the sixth inning to replace Brett Conine. The New York native went three up, three down in his first inning of work, but things got a little bumpier with a 1-0 lead in the top of the seventh. Dubin retired Ryan Fitzgerald for the first one gone, but then Keith Curcio smacked a single to put the tying run on for Salem. Marcus Wilson then lofted a ball high into right field that Scott Schreiber lost in the sky, allowing it to drop in as Wilson took second and Curcio moved to third. Dubin loaded the bases when he clipped Edgar Corcino with a pitch and Salem tied the game on the next at bat thanks to a sacrifice fly from Tanner Nishioka that scored Curcio. It was the 24th RBI for Nishioka this year and made it 1-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Salem made a pitching change in the bottom of the seventh, sending out Andrew Politi (4-1) to replace Ward. Politi struck out the Woodpeckers in order, including a backwards K against Scott Manea that preserved the tie heading into the top of the eighth.
The Salem offense started the top of the eighth with a single from Michael Osinski that dropped into right field. Dubin retired Jagger Ruscoini for out number one, but the 1-3 sacrifice moved the go ahead runner into scoring position. Pedro Castellanos roped a base hit into center field that left enough time for Osinski to round third and score giving Salem a 2-1 lead. Dubin went on to walk Keith Curcio but the the Woodpeckers pitcher stranded a pair when he fanned Marcus Wilson to end the eighth frame.
Playing from behind for the first time in the game, Fayetteville looked to get something going against Politi in the bottom of the eighth. The Red Sox reliever sent down both Miguelangel Sierra and Chandler Taylor in order, finally surrendering a baserunner when Michael Papierski drew a base on balls to put the tying run on for Fayetteville. However Papierski was forced out and the inning ended after Corey Julks chopped into a fielders choice.
In the top of the ninth frame, Shawn Dubin struck out the side with just ten pitches to end the inning and send the Woodpeckers into the bottom of the ninth in need of a rally. Jake Adams popped up for out number one, Jonathan Arauz lost a ten pitch battle with Politi for out number two, and Jeremy Pena struck out to end the game and secure a Salem sweep in the 2-1 Woodpeckers loss. Fayetteville falls to 6-8 in the second half meanwhile the Red Sox are now 10-4. The Woodpeckers try and snap a three game losing streak with a July 4th matchup in Winston Salem. First pitch is set for 6:30pm.
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.