Despite a key impact on the offensive performance of their fellow South Division All-Stars on Tuesday night, representatives from the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, and the Carolina League South Division, just fell short of thrilling victory over the North at Nymeo Field in Frederick at the Carolina League All-Star Classic. Leading 5-0
Despite a key impact on the offensive performance of their fellow South Division All-Stars on Tuesday night, representatives from the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, and the Carolina League South Division, just fell short of thrilling victory over the North at Nymeo Field in Frederick at the Carolina League All-Star Classic. Leading 5-0 in the sixth inning, the North Division score eight consecutive runs to push ahead for good, and even though Woodpeckers outfielder Corey Julks made a late attempt at comeback with a ninth inning two-run home run, the North escaped with an 8-7 victory. Although they honored seven All-Stars, Fayetteville was only able to send three position players, Jake Adams, Julks, and Jacob Meyers, to the contest due to promotions to Double-A Corpus Christi.
Spread through the lineup as they were led by Woodpeckers Manager Nate Shaver, the three representatives for Fayetteville came short of flashing their trademark power to the Carolina League fans at Nymeo Field early, as the trio went a combined 0-for-6 to start, however, they still played an integral part in the early offense for the South Division. Leading off the top of the second inning, Adams was hit by an early pitch by Juan Hillman, and, following a fly out, eventually stole second base. The heavy-swinging first baseman for Fayetteville has only stolen one base this season. After a walk drawn by Julks, Down East's Ryan Dorow singled to left field to load the bases, putting the south in a prime position to strike first in the contest. On a slowly hit ball back to the pitcher's mound, the North Division had a chance to escape the danger with a double play, but Hillman threw the ball away, allowing both Adams and Julks to score. Another single by Carolina's Payton Henry brought home another pair before the inning ended.
Fayetteville would not manage another baserunner until the fifth inning, when Adams line a one-out single to left field, but he was left stranded at the base before anything more came in the frame. In the sixth inning with a runner on first base and two outs, Meyers went down swinging on a pitch in the dirt, but he was graced by the ball slipping behind backstop MJ Melendez, allowing the outfielder to reach safely. With the dropped third strike prolonging the frame for another batter, Down East's Leody Taveras singled to right field to give the South Division a five-run advantage.
With their only two pitching representatives promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi, the Woodpeckers were unable to provide any help as the North Division launched an incredible comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning. Against Winston-Salem's Will Kincannon, the North placed runners at the corners early on to break the shutout with a sacrifice fly, but Kincannon allowed three straight to reach safely, all with two outs, as the North plated four runs in the frame. In the seventh, the North collected another trio of singles, including two more with two outs, to tie the game at five, but the true blow of the game came in the eighth inning. After Myrtle Beach's Paul Richan hit a batter and gave up a single, Potomac's Nick Banks drilled a three-run home run to left field to cap the eight-run rally for the North. Banks was the culprit of the go-ahead grand slam for Potomac during Fayetteville's last game of the first half.
Needing three runs in as many outs to avoid the loss, Carolina's Mario Feliciano led off the ninth inning by drawing a full count walk. Following two strikeouts, however, Julks found himself down to one final strike at the brink of the loss. Julks, only days removed from a stint on the Injured List for a bruised shoulder, launched a two-run home run over the second-tier wall in left field to make it a one run game. Unfortunately, Down East's Diosbel Arias went down swinging on a full count offering just one batter later to end the game.
For Fayetteville, Adams went only 1-for-2 with a run scored, as he was replaced by Winston-Salem's Jameson Fisher mid-game, Julks went 1-for-3 with his home run, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored, and Meyers went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. While the trio went a combined 2-for-10, they were still responsible for four of the seven runs for the South, as Adams and Julks scored three runs combined, and Julks drove in a fourth with his long ball.
"Even with all the talent that we've sent up to Corpus, our team was still represented well in Frederick," said Woodpeckers General Manager David Lane, "and combined they had an outstanding performance for the Division, as we all expected them to, of course. I'm glad that Fayetteville's fans can look at this game and be proud of the impact that their players had."
With the contest now in the rearview mirror, Fayetteville can turn their full attention to the second half of the season, as the Woodpeckers will open the new half with a seven-game roadtrip starting in Myrtle Beach on Thursday. Following the week, Fayetteville will return home on June 27th when they open a seven-game homestand, which also starts against the Pelicans.
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].