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Pelicans Dominate Woodpeckers in Series Opener

Fayetteville Drops Second Straight in Blowout Loss
August 2, 2019

The Fayetteville Woodpeckers could not keep up with the hot bats of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in a lopsided loss on Friday night at Segra Stadium. The Pelicans notched fifteen total hits, tallying five runs in the top of the third alone. Grant Fennell added four RBIs on the night,

The Fayetteville Woodpeckers could not keep up with the hot bats of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in a lopsided loss on Friday night at Segra Stadium. The Pelicans notched fifteen total hits, tallying five runs in the top of the third alone. Grant Fennell added four RBIs on the night, including a three run shot over the wall in left field to propel Myrtle Beach to a 10-3 victory. Chandler Taylor launched a solo shot for Fayetteville and new Woodpeckers' infielder David Hensley went 2-3 with two doubles in series opening defeat.  

With JP France (4-7) on the mound for Fayetteville, the Pelicans started the night by stringing together three base runners to load the bases, on a pair of singles and a walk from Cam Balego. However, the Fayetteville starter locked in and fanned both Grant Fennell and Aramis Ademan to end the inning and leave all three runners stranded in the top of the first. The Woodpeckers offense struggled to hit Myrtle Beach starter Jeffrey Passantino (1-0) who retired all six Fayetteville batters he faced through the second inning, not giving up a hit or a walk.  
With still no score the Pelicans' bats exploded in the top of the third, with Carlos Sepulveda leading off by slicing a single. DJ Artis followed with base hit of his own, moving Sepulveda to third as the go ahead run. France walked the next batter in Cam Balego on just four tosses, with the fourth pitch bouncing off the knee of Scott Manea behind home plate. The wild pitch allowed just enough time for Sepulvedo to race home and make it 1-0 Pelicans with still no outs. France put the first away in the frame when Miguel Amaya popped up in foul territory, butt with still two on Grant Fennell stepped up the plate. The Myrtle Beach slugger launched his fourth home run of the year to the berm in left field, a three run shot that cleared the bases and made it 4-0 Pelicans with one crack of the bat. Myrtle Beach still was not done tallying runs as Aramis Ademan drew a base on balls and then scored on a ground rule double to right field from Luke Reynolds to extend the Pelicans lead to five moving into the bottom of the third.  
The Woodpeckers offense finally tallied a pair of singles against Passantino in the back half of the third, but Fayetteville did not actually tack on a run until the bottom of the fourth. With two away, Chandler Taylor absolutely smashed a ball over the right field wall for a solo shot that cut the Myrtle Beach lead to four after four innings of play. Leovanny Rodriguez pitched two scoreless frames in the fourth and fifth, but things got a little bumpier in the top of the sixth. Sepulveda added his second hit of the day to start the inning, with Artis and Balego following with base hits of their own. Balego's scored Sepulveda to make it 6-1 and Artis came home thanks to a sacrifice fly from Grant Fennell. The score stretched the lead for Myrtle Beach to six and gave Fennell his fourth RBI on the night, a new career high. In Passantino's final inning of work on the mound, the bottom of the sixth, Michael Papierski drew a two out walk and Corey Julks added a single to put two runners on for the Woodpeckers. Taylor hit into a 1-3 putout to end the frame and keep the fantastic line for the Myrtle Beach starter. Passantino finished the night having tossed six total innings, allowing four hits and one run, completed by fanning five.  
The Pelicans offense tacked on some more scores in the top of the seventh with Fayetteville's second reliever Joey Gonzalez on the mound. The Woodpeckers bullpen arm quickly retired Ademan, who flew out to left field. Wladimir Galindo and Luke Reynolds then put together back-to-back singles, but Gonzalez earned the second out by tossing a backwards K to retire Jose Gutierrez. The Pelicans did not waiver, with Sepulveda drawing a base on balls to load the bases with two gone. DJ Artis then chopped an infield single to shortstop that brought home Galindo. Next up, Cam Balego smashed a double to center field that brought home two more runs to make it a monstrous 10-1 Pelicans lead. With Myrtle Beach reliever Tyler Peyton on the mound the Woodpeckers went down in order in the bottom of the seventh, but Fayetteville finally added some more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Scott Schreiber laced a single to kick things off, followed by a double off the bat of recent Quad Cities call up David Hensley that scored Schreiber. It was the first RBI of the year for Hensley with Fayetteville in just his second game with the Woodpeckers. Ross Adolph scored Hensley by roping a single to center field, but the Woodpeckers could not make the massive comeback happen and entered the 9th down 10-3.
Fayetteville put their second position player this season on the mound, this time sending out Rueben Castro who typically plays in the Woodpeckers infield. The unexpected reliever did his job well, going three up, three down in his lone inning of work. The Fayetteville offense could not overcome the seven run deficit and ultimately fell in lopsided fashion to Myrtle Beach at Segra Stadium. With the loss Fayetteville drops to 53-57 on the year but still remains in sole possession of second place in the South Division. Myrtle Beach on the other hand moves to 42-67 on the year, but are just one game behind Fayetteville for a playoff spot. The Woodpeckers look to even the series tomorrow, with game two set for 6:00pm. Shawn Dubin will climb the hill for the Woodpeckers in the Saturday night game at Segra Stadium.  
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 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 [email protected].