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Woodpeckers Clinch Season Series Over Kannapolis With Late Comeback

September 12, 2021

KANNAPOLIS, NC - The Fayetteville Woodpeckers (52-61) came back from four runs down in the later innings to defeat the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (34-79) 9-8 on Saturday night at Atrium Health Ballpark. The win was the 16th this year over Kannapolis, clinching the overall 30-game regular season series. Justin Williams

KANNAPOLIS, NC - The Fayetteville Woodpeckers (52-61) came back from four runs down in the later innings to defeat the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (34-79) 9-8 on Saturday night at Atrium Health Ballpark. The win was the 16th this year over Kannapolis, clinching the overall 30-game regular season series.

Justin Williams opened up the scoring in the second against Martin Carrasco with an opposite field home run, his fifth of the season to go ahead 1-0. Kannapolis tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom second on an RBI single from DJ Gladney.

The Cannon Ballers took a 6-1 lead in the third on a five-run rally against Jairo Lopez, which was jump started by a leadoff homer from Wilber Sanchez. Kannapolis proceeded to load up the bases on a double and back-to-back walks. Lopez was tagged with three additional runs on an RBI double from Samil Polanco and an RBI single from Chase Krogman that made it 5-1. Kasey Ford took over on the mound after Lopez recorded a strikeout, allowing only one inherited run to score on a passed ball by catcher Miguel Palma.

Facing Rigo Hernandez, Joey Loperfideo drew a one-out walk in the fifth. Jordan Brewer followed with a two-run home run onto the left field berm that put Fayetteville back within reach at 6-3. The homer was Brewers six of the year and second of the road trip. Kannapolis countered with a Krogman sac fly against Heitor Tokar (W, 2-3) to push ahead 7-3

Fayetteville rallied for six runs across the seventh and eighth innings, while only recording one hit. Loperfido drew a leadoff walk in the seventh against reliever Corey Stone, and Brewer connected with a single to put runners on the corners. Quincy Hamilton drove in Loperfido on a sac fly to make it 7-4. Williams struck out on a wild pitch that allowed him to advance to first base. On a double steal attempt, Williams made it safe into second and Brewer nabbed home plate on the throw down, cutting the game to 7-5. Williams proceeded to score on a sac fly before closing the seventh down 7-6

Facing Hunter Speer (L, 1-1) in the eighth, the Woodpeckers loaded up the bases on three consecutive walks with one out. Will Wagner chopped the 1-1 pitch up to the second baseman Sanchez, who overthrew catcher Kleyder Sanchez and allowed Brewer and Hamilton to score, giving the Woodpeckers a 8-7 lead. The Woodpeckers scored an insurance run on a bases loaded walk by Chad Stevens, giving them a two-run lead going into the ninth.

The offense went down in order in the ninth and Jacob Delabio (SV, 1) emerged from the bullpen to close out the game. He recorded a strikeout to start the inning and walked to Bryan Ramos to bring the tying run to the plate. Delabio struck out Polanco swinging, before he was tagged with a run on an RBI single from Krogman that made it 9-8. He recovered to strike out Gladney, a play that was completed by catcher Miguel Palma to secure his first professional save.

The series concludes tomorrow with first pitch scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET. Fayetteville will roll out RHP Spencer Arrigetti, and the Cannon Ballers will counter with RHP Matt Thompson.

FULL BOX SCORE: Woodpeckers 9, Cannon Ballers 8 (Final Score) on Gameday (milb.com)