The Woodpeckers sent the Pelicans packing without a win at Segra Stadium, completing a sweep at home against Myrtle Beach with a Wednesday night victory. Woodpeckers starter Brett Conine continued to shine at home, having now pitched twelve scoreless innings in a row in downtown Fayetteville in his last two outings. Scott Schreiber smashed a solo shot for the only run of the game and the bullpen picked up where Conine left off cementing the 1-0 Woodpeckers victory in the series finale against Myrtle Beach.
Woodpeckers starter Brett Conine (5-2) began his stellar outing by striking out two Pelicans in a row and forcing Carlos Sepulveda to line out, for a quick three up, three down top of the first inning. After Myrtle Beach starter Alex Lange (1-9) retired Fayetteville in order to start the game, the 'Peckers finally mustered up some offense in the second frame. On the first pitch to leadoff the inning Scott Schreiber smoked a solo shot to the left field hill for his third homer with the 'Peckers this season. The next three batters went down in order to Lange, but Fayetteville secured a slight 1-0 lead after two frames of play.
Conine continued his fantastic start facing the minimum through the first three innings, not surrendering a baserunner until two outs into the top of the fourth. It was Carlos Sepulveda who reached first for the Pelicans, making it to the bag after Woodpeckers third basemen Enmanuel Valdez committed an error on a ground ball. Sepulveda moved along after Cam Balego knocked a hit up the middle, the first of the day for Myrtle Beach. With the go ahead run on board Conine locked in, getting Kevonte Mitchell to fly out to center field and end the frame. The Woodpeckers hurler gave up a single to leadoff batter Aramis Ademen in the top of 5th, but then retired the next three Pelicans, striking out the final two. Conine continued to fan batters, tallying four straight into the top of the sixth. Myrtle Beach's Sepulvada smacked the team's third hit of the game with two away in the sixth, but yet again Conine stranded the tying run on the base paths to end the frame. The Fayetteville starter finished his day with a phenomenal line on the mound and his second straight scoreless start at Segra Stadium. The righty pitched six shutout frames, allowed just three hits, fanned seven batters, and did not walk any Pelicans.
The game certainly turned into a pitchers duel after Myrtle Beach starter Lange silenced the Woodpeckers offense for the rest of the evening. The visiting pitcher notched a season high nine strikeouts through seven innings of one run ball. In the bottom of the third the Woodpeckers put a runner in scoring position after Miguelangel Sierra chopped an infield single to reach safely and then swiped second. Sierra was left stranded by the Fayetteville offense after the next two batters for the 'Peckers struck out to end the inning. Sierra's hit was the last one the Woodpeckers earned on Lange, in fact Fayetteville went two times throughout the order before collecting another base hit. The 'Peckers earned another baserunner after Scott Schreiber walked in the fourth inning, but the Fayetteville went three up, three down anyway in that frame because Schreiber was thrown out by Myrtle Beach catcher Tyler Payne. The Pelicans starter just faced one over the minimum for the next three innings pitching through the seventh inning, having allowed just two hits to the Woodpeckers in outing.
The Woodpeckers made a pitching change in the top of the seventh sending Cesar Rosado to finish out the game. The Fayetteville reliever sent down the side in order in both the seventh and eighth inning, including fanning three Pelicans batters. Myrtle Beach finally made a pitching change in the bottom of the eighth, with Ryan Lawlor taking over on the mound. Neither Enmanuel Valdez or Scott Manea could hit the reliever, getting out back-to-back. The 'Peckers finally got some life after Sierra hit his second single of the game with two away in the frame. Marty Costes followed as the second baserunner of the inning for Fayetteville after Lawlor clipped him with a pitch. The Pelicans righty got out of the jam, striking out Michael Papierski to head to the top of the ninth with the Woodpeckers still up just 1-0. After a brief rain delay, Jacob Billingsley took over to get the final three out for the Woodpeckers. The Mississippi State product struck out Jimmy Herron to start the frame and got Sepulveda to ground out for two outs. After a lengthy battle against Cam Belago, Billingsley hit the Pelicans hitter with a pitch to put the tying run on the base paths. The Woodpeckers reliever won the next battle with Kevonte Mitchell, getting the best power hitter on Myrtle Beach to bat the breeze and secure the Woodpeckers 1-0 shutout victory.
The Woodpeckers complete the sweep of the Myrtle Beach with the victory and now hold a 5-1 record against the Pelicans this season. The 'Peckers are now 28-37 on the year while Myrtle Beach is 20-43. Fayetteville has one more seres at Segra Stadium before the all-star break. The Woodpeckers host Potomac for a four game tilt, starting with a 7:00pm contest on Thirsty Thursday.
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.