Wilmington, DE- Less than 24 hours after celebrating the team's first playoff berth since 2015, the Wilmington Blue Rocks had more to be happy about on Sunday thanks to a bases-clearing double from MJ Melendez in the eighth inning that completed a 5-3 comeback win over the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. The victory moved the Blue Crew to a season-best 18 games above .500.
The Rocks rally started with one out in the eighth. Blake Perkins got things going with a walk and then Colby Schultz blooped a single to right. Brewer Hicklen then worked a walk to load the bases as Fayetteville brought in flame-throwing reliever Leovanny Rodriguez.
Dennicher Carrasco worked a full count, but struck out. Melendez picked him up however, launching a one-hopper of the fence in left that scored three and put Wilmington ahead to stay.
Fayetteville got all of its runs courtesy of homers. Bryan De La Cruz hit the first pitch of the day out to left. Marty Costes added a solo shot in the third and Michael Papierski hit another in the sixth.
In spite of the long balls Marcelo Martinez still turned in a quality start. The lefty yielded just three runs and fanned six while walking a pair. C.J. Eldred tossed two scoreless out of the pen to pick up the win and Robert Garcia fanned two in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.
The Rocks got their first two runs thanks to a one-out single from Sebastian Rivero in the second that plated Melendez and Carrasco. Melendez finished 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored.
Wilmington continues its seven-game homestand on Monday against Lynchburg. First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m. and tickets are available at BlueRocks.com. Fans who cannot make it to the ballpark can catch all the action with the Voice of the Blue Rocks, Cory Nidoh on 89.7 WGLS-FM.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
Wilmington won on Sunday for the 20th time this season when its opponent had more hits. The Rocks did it three straight times over the weekend against Fayetteville.
The Rocks have enjoyed great success in daylight this season. Wilmington improved to 10-1 in day games this season, with five of the victories featuring comebacks.
The Rocks have excelled in close contests this season. The Blue Crew lead the Carolina League with 28 games decided by a single score in 2019 and have played 41 affairs with a margin of victory of two-or-less. Wilmington is an impressive 32-9 in those close calls including 23-5 in one-run decisions. The Rocks are also 24-1 when holding an advantage through seven innings and 27-0 when leading after eight.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.