Woodpeckers Drop Season Opening Series in Potomac

Two Early Runs Not Enough to Stop Nationals

Fayetteville Woodpeckers shortstop Jonathan Arauz fields a throw from catcher Michael Papierski as Potomac baserunner Cole Freeman slides in safely during Thursday's game at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va. [Photo by Patrick Obley]

By Matt Sabados / Fayetteville Woodpeckers | April 7, 2019 5:04 PM

The Woodpeckers dropped their third straight contest to the Potomac Nationals on Sunday afternoon, falling 6-2 in the game and 3-1 in the series. After stringing together 15 runs on 16 hits in the season opener on Thursday night, Fayetteville only managed six runs on 20 hits over the following three games combined.

Facing lefty starter Nick Raquet, Fayetteville got on the board quickly. Scott Manea hit his second home run in as many games in his first at-bat in the first inning, a towering solo shot to left field to give Fayetteville the lead. Despite the early deficit, the Nationals carried plenty of momentum from their doubleheader sweep on Saturday and went on to plate three runs in the bottom of the frame against Chad Donato. Donato was only able to last two-thirds of an inning in his Carolina League debut and was charged with a loss. Thanks to some fielding issues by Potomac, Fayetteville was able to score and make it a one run game in the second inning, but their offense went quiet for the rest of the day.

Raquet tossed five innings to earn the win, while allowing only four hits and striking out four, but the relief core for Potomac was even stronger. Frankie Bartow entered in the sixth inning and worked three scoreless frames while only facing two batters over the minimum. In the ninth, Jeremy McKinney set down the Woodpeckers to close the series.

After the departure of Donato in the first inning, used three separate pitchers out of the bullpen, with mixed results. Cesar Rosado was able to close out the first inning and eventually put up zeros in the second and third inning but was lifted in the fourth after walking three straight batters to load the bases. Going to the bullpen again, Carlos Sanabria immediately allowed a two-run double to make it a three-run deficit. Sanabria allowed another run in the fifth inning before being replaced prior to the sixth. Enoli Paredes was the most efficient pitcher for Fayetteville on the afternoon, spinning three scoreless innings. Making his debut this season, Paredes did have to work around a pair of walks and a hit but struck out four batters in the outing.

The Woodpeckers fall to 1-3 on the young season following the Sunday loss, and hit the road once more as their 14-game roadtrip to begin the year continues. Fayetteville will travel north to Maryland to square of with the Frederick Keys in a three-game series. Peter Solomon will take the ball for game one, with first pitch slated on Monday for 7:00.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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