The Fayetteville Woodpeckers pitching tandem of Nivaldo Rodriguez and Enoli Paredes only gave up three hits combined, yet the Woodpeckers still dropped their second in a row to the Winston-Salem Dash. The Dash sandwiched two solo home runs between two 4th inning tallies to take control of the series on the Monday night showdown at Segra Stadium. Bryan De La Cruz and Jonathan Arauz both knocked RBI doubles to score the Woodpeckers two runs, but the Woodpeckers left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth fall 4-2 to Winston-Salem.
Nivaldo Rodriguez (0-3) retired the first six batters he faced through the second frame, but Winston-Salem tacked on the first score of the game. To leadoff the third inning JJ Muno smashed his third home run of the year on a solo shot that made it 1-0 Dash. Rodriguez sent down the next three batters he faced to limit the damage as the Woodpeckers found themselves trailing heading into the bottom of the frame. The Fayetteville offense rose to the challenge against Winston-Salem starter Konnor Pilkington (1-1), tacking on two runs in the bottom of the third. Pilkington fanned Miguelangel Sierra to start the frame, but walked Ramiro Rodriguez immediately after to put the tying run on the base paths for Fayetteville. Rodriguez stole second and then was knocked home thanks to an RBI double that chopped up the third base line from Bryan De La Cruz. The Woodpeckers took the lead with a two out two-bagger smacked to left field from Jonathan Arauz that brought home De La Cruz and made it 2-1 Fayetteville after three.
The Woodpeckers would not be up for very long as Winston-Salem snatched the lead right back in the top of the fourth. Nick Madrigul was hit by a pitch from Rodriguez to start the frame, moving to second thanks to Steele Walker's sacrifice bunt on out number one. With the tying run in scoring position, Jameson Fisher walked to put the go-ahead score on as well for the Dash. The next batter up to the plate, Zach Remillard, grounded to Woodpeckers' second basemen Enmanuel Valdez but the Fayetteville infielder could not corral the ball. The E4 allowed for Madrigul to score, Fisher to move to third, and Remillard to reach safely. Still with only one gone, Rodriguez threw a wild pitch that squeaked by Woodpeckers' catcher Michael Papierski allowing Fisher to score and give the Dash their lead back. The next two batters were retired by Rodriguez to end the frame, but Winston-Salem still took control of the game 3-2 after three and a half innings of play.
Rodriguez pitched a solid top of the fifth, sending down the Dash in order to end his time on the mound. The Woodpeckers starter finished the night having allowed just one hit on the home run from Munno, but giving up three runs only two of which were earned. Rodriguez also struck out four and walked one through five innings of work. Enoli Paredes was the first and only call to the bullpen for the Woodpeckers, entering the game in the top of the sixth. The right handed hurler allowed the first two Dash batters to reach safely, walking Nick Madrigul and giving up a single to Steele Walker. Both the baserunners moved along after a wild pitch but then Paredes locked in and sent down the Dash in order including striking out a two, leaving the pair of Winston-Salem runners stranded and keeping the score at 3-2 Dash.
That began a streak of nine straight batters retired by Enoli Paredes through the eighth inning to hold Winston Salem scoreless in his first three frames of work, as the Woodpeckers offense though still unable to tack on any more runs. Enoli's scoreless outing was ruined to lead off the top of the ninth as Jameson Fisher smoked a home run over the right field wall to make it 4-2 Winston-Salem. That was the just the second hit surrendered by Paredes and he would not allow another, sending down the final three Winston-Salem batters of the game. The Woodpeckers once again found themselves heading into the bottom of the ninth inning in need of a walk off. Against Winston-Salem reliever Jake Elliott, Fayetteville launched a comeback bid in the bottom of the 9th, starting with a leadoff walk drawn by Jake Adams. Scott Schreiber reached on the next at bat on a fielder's choice that forced out Adams heading to second to put one away in the frame. Scott Manea laced a single to left field to move Schreiber in scoring position and to also put the tying run on the bases. Valdez flew out to left field for out number two, but Elliott loaded the bases after clipping Miguelangel Sierra with a pitch. The Woodpeckers could not bring any runs home as Ramiro Rodriguez flew out to center field to end the frame, leaving all three runners stranded as Winston-Salem defeated Fayetteville 4-2 for their second night in a row.
The Woodpeckers are now just 1-5 overall against the Dash this season. Fayetteville has been eliminated from first half playoff contention and moves to 25-32 on the season, meanwhile Winston-Salem advances to 32-24 on the year. The 'Peckers look to avoid the sweep tomorrow in game three against the Dash and the final game of a seven game home stand. First pitch 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 Woodpeckers@Astros.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.