A fantastic Saturday for Fayetteville ended with a new piece of franchise history, as Scott Schreiber played hero for the first walk off win for the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. With the game knotted at one apiece, the leadoff batter in the bottom of the 9th Scott Schreiber smoked a home run to left field, giving Fayetteville a 2-1 series finale win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks. A day that featured a record-setting 12-strikeout performance from Bret Conine, was capped by Schreiber's 2-for-4 day.
The Woodpeckers started the contest by tacking on a score in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead. Jacob Meyers started with a single to put a lead off runner on against Wilmington starter Daniel Lynch. The Blue Rocks hurler got Jonathan Arauz to strike out for the first gone in the frame, however Colton Shaver laced a perfect ball landing in the corner in left field that gave plenty of time for Meyers to round third and score. It was Shaver's Carolina league best 21st double on the year, while also breaking a 20-inning scoreless streak that Daniel Lynch had going over the last three outings. Jake Adams and Marty Costes were both retired to end the frame, yet off of Shaver's 27th RBI on the year the Woodpeckers went up 1-0 after just one inning.
Brett Conine (2-0) put together yet another stellar outing as the Fayetteville starter, silencing the Blue Rocks through six innings of work. The Blue Rocks put a runner in scoring position in every frame versus Conine, but the Woodpeckers hurler was unfazed. The top of the 4th and top of the 5th Wilmington had a tying run 90 feet away, but could not bring that run home either time. In the top of the 4th after Conine fanned the first two batters he faced, the Blue Rocks hit back-to-back singles from Sebastian Rivero and Cristian Perez, later advancing to second and third off a wild pitch. Still the Woodpeckers starter forced Ricky Aracena to ground out to end the frame and get out of the jam. In the top of the 5th Rudy Martin crushed a leadoff triple off the wall in right field, and once again put the tying run at third. Conine locked in and retired the next three batters in order, not letting a ball out of the infield for the run to score. Overall the Cal State Fullerton product pitched six innings of shutout ball, allowing six hits, and striking out twelve Wilmington batters. The 12 Ks on the night tied Yohan Ramirez's franchise record in just the 4th game in a Woodpecker's uniform for Conine.
After the one run in the first inning the Woodpeckers offense also struggled to bring home runners in scoring position. Wilmington starter Lynch exited the game early with an apparent injury after just one and 1/3 innings of work. Lynch was also in the middle of an at bat against Fayetteville's Enmanuel Valdez. The Blue Rocks sent out Josh Dye as a replacement, in a tight spot as Scott Schreiber was standing on second after knocking a double to start the second frame. Valdez drew a base on balls to put two runners on for the Woodpeckers, yet Dye immediately got Alejandro Flores to knock into a double-play that ended the frame without another Fayetteville run. Against the three relievers Wilmington put on the mound through the eighth inning the Woodpeckers sliced five hits, putting three runners in scoring position yet could not finish the job and tally another score. Wilmington on the other hand knotted the game at one apiece in the top of the 8th inning against Woodpeckers reliever Leovanny Rodriguez. Coming off a three up, three down 7th Rodriguez continued to deal by sending down the first two batters he faced in the 8th. With two outs, Dennicher Carrasco roped a base hit, coming home thanks to a triple smoked by MJ Melendez. Rodriguez got the final out by fanning Rivero to set up an exciting finish to end the game.
The Woodpeckers could not regain the lead in the bottom of the 8th inning, meaning the game was still tied at one heading into the 9th. Fayetteville sent out Cesar Rosado to finish out the game, making his return to Segra Stadium for the first time since April 29th. Rosado sent down the bottom of the Wilmington lineup in order to preserve the tie, giving the Woodpeckers the chance to win it with one score in the bottom of the 9th. With Blue Rocks reliever Robert Garcia (1-1) on the mound for his second inning of work, Scott Schreiber stepped up to the plate to leadoff the inning. On the fourth pitch he saw from Garcia, Schreiber smashed a solo shot over the left field wall for the first walk off in Fayetteville Woodpeckers history. A bench clearing celebration at home plate topped off the 2-1 victory, securing a series split with Wilmington. Fayetteville moves to 25-30 on the year while the Blue Rocks fall to 34-21. Up next the Woodpeckers battle a divisional foe in Winston Salem for a three game tilt at Segra Stadium. First pitch is set for tomorrow at 6:00pm.
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.