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Woodpeckers Pitching Stifles Pelicans to Sweep Series

June 23, 2019 - Carolina League (CarL) - Fayetteville Woodpeckers News Release

A trademark win in every sense, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers downed the Myrtle Beach Pelicans once again on Sunday night, using a pair of home runs and some stellar pitching to finish off a series sweep with a 3-2. Michael Papierski and Marty Costes each went yard in the finale, while Nivaldo Rodriguez and Austin Hansen combined to allow just four hits and two runs. Marking a new piece of franchise history with their first four-game sweep, Fayetteville stays perfect in the second half of the season.

For the first time in the four-game set, Fayetteville failed to score during their first trip through the lineup, as Alexander Vargas stranded early baserunners from Fayetteville over the first two frames. The Woodpeckers eventually broke through against Vargas in the third inning, when Michael Papierski lifted a line drive toward the Pelicans bullpen in right field. Papierski's fifth home run of the season, a solo shot, opened the scoring for the evening. While the lead may have been short lived for Fayetteville, as Myrtle Beach quickly tied the game, Marty Costes would aid the cause in the fourth inning. With a runner on and two outs, Costes pulled a ball to left-center field off Vargas (L, 1-2) to give Fayetteville a 3-1 lead that they would never surrender.

Taking the mound for Fayetteville, Nivaldo Rodriguez was able to match the two scoreless frames early on from Vargas, but as the right0hander entered the third inning with a 1-0 lead, he was unable to hold it. Leading off the frame with a single, Pelicans outfielder Jimmy Herron advanced to second base on a groundout, and quickly scored the tying run on a single to center field by Zach Davis. When Fayetteville pushed back ahead just a half inning later, Rodriguez was able to toss a scoreless fourth inning to finish his day.

Tossing on the back end of a tandem for Fayetteville, Austin Hansen was called on for the final five innings of the game. While Hansen retired the first four batters of his appearance, but hit a snag in the sixth inning, when Cam Balego launched a 1-0 pitch over the left field bleachers at Pelicans Ballpark, trimming the lead to one run. With very little room for error at that point, Hansen took the Pelicans' bats out of the equation. Balego's home run was the last hit of the day for Myrtle Beach, as Hansen (W, 1-0) allowed only two more baserunners, both walks, over the remainder of his night to close the door on the sweep.

Staying perfect over the second half so far, Fayetteville will try to set a new mark in their franchise's history, as they look for their first five-game win streak. Embarking on the second leg of their seven-game road trip, Fayetteville will start a three-game series with the Salem Red Sox at 7:05PM on Monday. Making their first, and only, trip to Salem this season, JP France will start on the mound for the Woodpeckers in the series opener.

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]

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