Woodpeckers Dominate Keys, Control Series

Fayetteville Rides Seven Run First Inning to Victory at Nymeo Field

(Joseph Dwyer)

By Fayetteville Woodpeckers | August 17, 2019 10:02 PM

The Fayetteville Woodpeckers won their second straight game against the Frederick Keys in blowout fashion at Harry Grove Stadium. Fayetteville tallied seven runs in first inning, propelled by a three-run shot off the bat of Corey Julks and a grand slam from Enmanuel Valdez. The Woodpeckers added two more scores in the contest thanks to a pair of solo bombs from Scott Manea who became the first Woodpecker to homer twice in one game. Fayetteville pitching held Frederick to just one run for the final eight innings as the Woodpeckers took a lopsided 9-4 victory on the road.

The Woodpeckers offense had a massive first inning, pouring on seven runs and sending twelve to the plate against two Keys pitchers to begin the night. With Frederick starter David Lebron (2-5) on the mound Jeremy Pena led off with a base hit to left field; Ross Adolph also reaching on a base on balls. With two on and no outs, Corey Julks stepped up to the plate and crushed a three-run home run to left that gave Fayetteville an early lead. Lebron finally got the first out of the frame by striking out Chandler Taylor, but then walked the next two batters he faced in Michael Papierski and Scott Manea. That Keys then decided to lift their starter, sending out Tyler Joyner in an emergency appearance, who loaded the bases by walking yet another batter in David Hensley. Joyner finally got out number two when he fanned Scott Schreiber, but with the bases still loaded Enmanuel Valdez smashed his second grand slam of the year over the center field wall. It was the fifth homer smacked by Valdez this season and made it 7-0 Woodpeckers after just one-half inning of play. 

Down big early Frederick got their bats hot and batted around as well in the bottom of the first, with Cole Billingsley kicking off the rally attempt by knocking a leadoff single. Sean Miller replaced the runner on a fielder's choice for out number one, with Woodpeckers starter Abdiel Saldana getting out number two immediately after on a line out to right. Patrick Dorrian followed up by drawing a base on balls, with JC Escarra bringing home Miller with a single to put the Keys on the board for the first time. After Cadyn Grenier earned a free pass, Robbie Thorburn sliced a two RBI base hit to tally two more scores when Escarra and Dorrian came home. Saldana loaded the bases when he walked Daniel Fajardo, forcing Fayetteville to make a pitching change of their own after recording just two outs. Leovanny Rodriguez came in for the Woodpeckers, getting out of the inning right away to end the 53-minute frame with Fayetteville up 7-3.

In the top of the second inning Fayetteville earned three baserunners on a walk, hit by a pitch, and a single but could not bring anyone home against new Frederick pitcher Luis Perez. In the top of the fourth Scott Manea got clipped with a pitch and moved to third when David Hensley sliced a double to right. The Woodpeckes now had two in scoring position, but Perez settled in and retired the next two batters faced to end another scoreless frame. Manea at third would be the closest to scoring for Fayetteville against Perez who added another shutout frame in fate fifth. Diogenes Almengo, the fourth Keys pitcher of the night, took over in the sixth leading to a Woodpeckers tally. With one away, Scott Manea hit a monster blast over the wall in left field for his 10th shot of the season to extend the Woodpeckers lead to five. Scott Schreiber and Enmanuel Valdez both struck out to end the inning, but Fayetteville ended their little scoring drought in the frame. Almengo held Fayetteville scoreless in the seventh, but the eighth inning saw some Woodpeckers history. With again one out, Scott Manea crushed his second home run of the game to left, becoming the first Fayetteville player to homer twice in one game. Manea's 11th bomb of the year also gave Fayetteville a convincing 9-3 lead after seven and a half innings of play. 

On the mound Leovanny Rodriguez finished out his emergency relief appearance by tossing 2 2/3 frames of work without allowing a run. Jojanse Torres (10-0) took over with one away in the bottom of the fourth, fanning Robert Neustrom to leave a runner stranded at second. For the next four innings Torres would only allow two singles, pitching four shutout frames in relief while also fanning seven Keys batters. In the ninth frame, the Keys loaded the bases and tallied a run on an RBI hit by pitch against Fayetteville reliever Humberto Castellanos. The Fayetteville bullpen arm struck out Will Robertson to end the game and solidify a 9-4 Fayetteville victory. The Woodpeckers move back to .500 overall for the first time since April and are now 31-24 in the second half. The Keys on the other hand are 48-74 this season and 2-8 against Fayetteville this year. The Woodpeckers look to sweep the Keys for the second time this year tomorrow in the finale at Nymeo Field. First pitch is set for 1:00pm.

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.

View More