Woodpeckers and Keys Split Doubleheader
The Woodpeckers dropped game one of Saturday's doubleheader 4-3, but salvaged the day by picking up a walk off win in game two.
In the second contest Austin Hansen and Jojanse Torres (8-0) combined to toss a gem on the mound for the 13th Woodpeckers shutout this season. In fact the two had no hitter going until Irving Ortega chopped an infield single with two outs in the top of the fifth. Behind the phenomenal pitching performances, the Woodpeckers only needed one run, which they earned in the bottom of the seventh inning. Fayetteville loaded the game on three free passes, walking off for the third time this year when Scott Schreiber was clipped with a pitch to score Marty Costes. The 1-0 victory sets up a rubber match for Sunday's series finale.
Cody Deason (3-3) started game one by sending down the Keys in order, including fanning Cole Billingsley. In the top of the second, Ben Breazeale drew a one out walk for their first baserunner of the game, moving to third when Patrick Dorrian sliced a single to right field. Deason got out of the inning unscathed when Robbie Thorburn lined into a 4-3 double play to end the frame. The next two innings where much smoother for the Woodpeckers starter who retired seven straight through the top of the fourth. Still, offensively Fayetteville struggled to get anything going against Keys starter Brenan Hanifee (9-9), who retired six straight before finally surrendering a walk to David Hensley to leadoff the third. With two away, Jeremy Pena got clipped in the arm with a pitch allowing Hensley to move into scoring position, but Hanifee forced a ground out to keep the game scoreless. Fayetteville finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Hanifee walked two straight in Chandler Taylor and Michael Papierski to put Marty Costes in perfect position to knock RBI number ten of the season. Costes flared a single to right field that brought home Taylor and made it 1-0 Woodpeckers after four innings of play.
Things got bumpier for Deason in the top of the fifth, as the Keys poured on four runs in the frame. Patrick Dorrian, Daniel Fajardo, and Chris Clare all laced singles to load the bases with two outs for Cole Billingsley. The Frederick leadoff hitter crushed a double off the wall in right that brought home Dorrian and Thorburn and put the Keys on top 2-1. The next batter in Sean Miller followed up by flaring a base hit to right that drove Clare and Billingsley across home plate. Deason eventually fanned Robert Neustrom to end the inning, but thanks to a five hit inning Frederick took a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth.
The Woodpeckers did not waste much time attempting to launch a rally in the bottom of the frame, with Fayetteville loading the bases off three straight base hits smoked by Cal Stevenson, Ross Adolph, and Chandler Taylor. With one gone, Michael Papierski roped a single to left that notched two runs; scoring Stevenson and Adolph. That pushed Papierski's RBI total to 36 on the year, while also putting the Woodpeckers within one run. On the mound Hanifee seemed to settle, ending the inning and straining two to preserve the Keys 4-3 lead after five.
Riley Cabral came in for Fayetteville and once again had a stellar outing in relief for the Woodpeckers. The Memphis product faced the minimum through two innings, allowing just one baserunner on a walk. The free pass came against Thorburn to leadoff the seventh, however a 2-4 caught stealing eliminated the runner and allowed for Cabral to end yet another shutout inning when Chris Clare grounded out. The Fayetteville reliever concluded the day by extending his scoreless streak to 6 and 1/3 innings. Against new Keys arm Diogenes Almengo, David Hensley started the bottom of the sixth by smoking a double but was caught 2-5 trying to steal third for out number one. Almengo silenced both Enmanuel Valdez and Miguelangel Sierra to force the Woodpeckers to try and walk off in the bottom of the seventh. Jeremy Pena struck out looking in the final frame, but then Cal Stevenson drew a base on balls to put the tying run at first. However, Ross Adolph hit a putout to first and Chandler Taylor got caught looking to leave Stevenson stranded and give Frederick a one run win.
In game two and with Austin Hansen on the mound for Fayetteville the Woodpeckers starter immediately had to deal with a runner on after shortstop Miguelangel Sierra lost a popup for an E6 that allowed Robbie Thorburn to reach. The Woodpeckers starter was unfazed, retiring the next three batters he faced to finish out the top of the first scoreless. In fact, that would be the only baserunner Hansen allowed in his outing, tossing four innings without allowing a hit. The Fayetteville hurler also struck out six batters, in his nearly perfect night for the Woodpeckers.
The Fayetteville offense drew two walks in the first inning against Keys starter David Lebron with both Cal Stevenson and Scott Manea reaching on free passes. However the go ahead run was left stranded in scoring position after David Hensley lined out to right to end the frame. Through the third inning Lebron allowed just one hit, a single off the bat of Ruben Castro, holding the Woodpeckers scoreless in his short day of work.
With neither team on the board, Fayetteville send out Jojanse Torres on the backend of the tandem. The Woodpeckers pitcher walked Ben Breazeale to start his night and then walked Will Robertson one out later. After Jean Carrillo popped up to second, Irving Ortega loaded the bases and broke up the no hitter with an infield single that Miguelangel Sierra double clutched at short. Torres was not rattled, finishing out the frame by forcing a line out off the bat of Thorburn to avoid disaster and keep it 0-0. In the bottom of the fourth Frederick made a pitching change as well, sending out Tyler Joyner for the next three innings. The Keys reliever made quick work of the Fayetteville offense facing just one over the minimum and fanning five in his shutout appearance.
Torres retired the Keys in order in the top of the sixth but ran into some trouble in the top of the seventh, walking Breazele to start the frame. The runner was eliminated after Patrick Dorrian hit into a double play, but then Robertson and Carrillo also reached to put go ahead runs on for Frederick. The Woodpeckers hurler swiftly locked in, getting Ortega to knock into a 6-3 putout that sent Fayetteville into the bottom of the seventh in prime position for a walk off.
With new Frederick arm Tim Naughton (0-1) on the mound for the final inning Fayetteville drew three straight walks with Marty Costes, Miguelangel Sierra, and Ruben Castro all receiving free passes. With just one out the sacrifice fly was an option, but Fayetteville did not need it. Scott Schreiber stepped up to the plate and was smacked with a pitch, allowing for Costes to score and the Woodpeckers to win 1-0. The walk off hit by a pitch was the third walk off in Woodpeckers history and the second with Schreiber at the plate this year.
The victory cemented a split with the Keys in the doubleheader, as Fayetteville moved to 64-65 on the year as Frederick now holds a 51-76 record. The Woodpeckers still hold a 9-4 advantage in the season series with the Keys and look to win the series tomorrow in a rubber match at Segra Stadium. First pitch on Sunday is scheduled for 6:00pm.
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.
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