For the third straight night, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers backed up a stellar pitching performance to knock off the Winston-Salem Dash on the road. JP France tossed a quality start for the Woodpeckers, while the offense laid on the throttle for six runs on Saturday for the 6-2 winner. Chandler Taylor knocked a pair of doubles and drove in a pair, while Yeremi Ceballos notched a dominant three-inning save.
Both teams were once again led early by strong pitching early, as both France and Konnor Pilkington tossed a pair of scoreless frames to open the evening. The left-hander for Winston-Salem spiraled away from control in the third inning, however, after allowing a leadoff walk and single. Following a groundout to advance the runners, Corey Julks rolled a slow single in front of third base to bring home the first run for the Woodpeckers, followed by a Scott Manea sac fly for another, and finally an RBI single from Enmanuel Valdez for a third run. Pilkington (L, 1-5) would depart the game after needing 80 pitches after just four innings.
With a hearty lead to work with, JP France had an easy time slicing through the Winston-Salem offense over the night. France did not allow a hit until the third inning, when Tyler Frost snuck a fly ball over the three-foot wall in right field. The solo home run for Frost broke a stretch of 21 consecutive innings without an earned run by the Fayetteville pitching staff. France was nicked for another run an inning later after walking Jameson Fisher. Fisher quickly stole second base, advanced to third base on a passed ball, and scored on a sacrifice fly, all happening in a span of less than five pitches. With the three-run lead trimmed to just one run, France (W, 3-5) settled back in to toss two more scoreless frames to keep Fayetteville on top for good.
Needing to rebuild the lead, Fayetteville pushed back against a pair of relievers for Winston-Salem, Kevin Escorcia and Jake Elliot, to plate another trio of runs. Escorcia allowed doubles to Chandler Taylor and Scott Manea in the fifth inning for one run, and Elliot allowed a 2RBI double to Taylor in the sixth to cap Fayetteville's day offensively.
Already in line for a win, France attempted to work into the seventh inning for the first time in his career, but he was quickly lifted after allowing a pair of leadoff singles. As France was replaced by Yeremi Ceballos, any chance of a rally for Winston-Salem was immediately vaporized, as Ceballos (S, 1) rinsed through all nine batters he faced for a perfect three-inning save.
Repaying Winston-Salem for the sweep that was handed to them at Segra Stadium, Fayetteville pushes back into first place in the South Division, as four teams finished Saturday with a 9-8 record. Fayetteville will try to continue the hot trend on the second leg of their road trip, when they visit the Potomac Nationals to open a three-game series on Sunday. Luis Garcia will pick up the start for Fayetteville, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05PM.
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.