The Woodpeckers scored the first three runs of the game combined with an all-star performance from starter Enoli Paredes who shined by facing the minimum though six innings. The Blue Rocks were shutout until the top of the eighth, but a pair of two RBI doubles piled on four runs
The Woodpeckers scored the first three runs of the game combined with an all-star performance from starter Enoli Paredes who shined by facing the minimum though six innings. The Blue Rocks were shutout until the top of the eighth, but a pair of two RBI doubles piled on four runs that blew the Woodpeckers lead and put the Blue Rocks up 4-3. Fayetteville's offense failed to start a rally of their own as the Woodpeckers suffered a one-run Wednesday night loss and the 10th straight defeat in a series opener.
Paredes set the tone for the Woodpeckers in the top of the first throwing ten pitches in a four minute three up, three down frame. In the bottom of the first inning the Woodpeckers offense gave Enoli some cushion, starting with a leadoff double from Jacob Meyers. Wilmington starter Jackson Kowar (4-3) struck out Jonathan Arauz for the first out of the frame, but Colton Shaver quickly brought home Meyers and made it 2-0 Fayetteville with a bomb over the left field fence. Shaver's homer is his fifth of the year and third at Segra Stadium. Kowar sent down the next two batters in the frame but the pair of runs put Fayetteville up 2-0 heading to the second.
Jackson Kowar would not allow the Woodpeckers to tack on another run until the bottom of the sixth inning. The Wilmington pitcher allowed just two baserunners in the four innings following the first, hitting Scott Manea with a pitch in the shoulder and allowing a single to Ramiro Rodriguez to start the second and third innings respectively. The righty still faced the minimum through both frames as the Blue Rocks defense managed a 4-3 double play to end the second and then a 9-3 double play to end the third. The 4th and 5th were three up, three down for Kowar to keep the score 2-0 Fayetteville through five innings of play.
The Woodpeckers offense finally tallied another score in the bottom of the sixth with Kowar still on the mound. Ramiro Rodriguez knocked his second hit of the day with a stand up double that was drilled off the the center field wall. With one away, Jonathan Arauz laced a singled over the head of first basemen Nick Pratto for a base hit that scored Rodriguez. Arauz, however was thrown out trying to make it an extra base hit as Pratto fired to shortstop Cristian Perez for out number two of the frame. Colton Shaver roped his second hit of the game with a double of his own but was left stranded after Jake Adams grounded out, meaning the Woodpeckers left the frame up 3-0. Paredes continued to dazzle for rest of his outing, tying a career high six innings pitched, facing the minimum 18 Wilmington batters, and allowing just one hit. That one hit surrendered by Paredes was a measly bunt up the third base line by Ricky Aracena. The Woodpeckers starter also topped off the night with seven strikeouts to solidify a shutout performance on the mound.
Tommy Dejuneas (1-2) entered the game for Fayetteville in the top of the seventh looking to continue his nearly nine inning scoreless streak through his last showings. Dejuneas did not miss a beat, fanning all three batters he faced to end the frame and continue Paredes' streak of facing the minimum. The Woodpeckers still held the 3-0 entering the top of the 8th, but this frame proved disastrous. Dejuneas walked the first batter he faced in Dennicher Carrasco for the Blue Rocks third baserunner of the day. MJ Melendez followed with a hit that dropped in right center for the first knock that dropped in the outfield of the game. The Woodpeckers reliever did strikeout Seuly Matias for the first out of the top of the eighth, however an error from Colton Shaver on the next at bat against Cristian Perez loaded the bases for Wilmington. Ricky Aracena whacked a two-bagger that sent both Carrasco and Melendez home and made it a one-run game at Segra Stadium. Dejuneas did eliminate the sacrifice fly by striking out Rudy Martin but followed by walking Blake Perkins, leading to a Woodpeckers pitching change. Fayetteville subbed in Willy Collado, tasked to getting the final out with two runners on, but Brewer Hicklen had different plans. The Blue Rucks slugger stepped up the the plate and torched a two-run double that cleared the bases, scoring Perez and Aracena. Collado sent down Nick Pratto to end the frame, but the damage was done. After mustering up just three batters and no runs through the first seven frames, the Blue Rocks sent 9 to the plate in the top of the eighth and took a 4-3 lead at Segra Stadium.
Robert Garcia relieved Kowar in the bottom of the eighth, pitching a scoreless frame with the lone blemish being a walk given up to Rodriguez. Willy Collado responded by pitching a scoreless frame of his own for the Woodpeckers in the top of the ninth, including striking out two preserve the 4-3 score heading into the final half inning. Down one and in need of rally, the Woodpeckers offense fell short unable to register a hit or get on in the bottom of the 9th cementing the 4-3 loss at home.
The Woodpeckers drop their first ever meeting with Wilmington and fall to 23-29 overall on the year. Wilmington on the other hand adds to their North division best record moving to 33-19 on the season. Fayetteville has a chance to even the series tomorrow in game two with first pitch on Thirsty Thursday 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].