Woodpeckers Rout Wood Ducks, Win Fifth Straight
The Fayetteville Woodpeckers continued one of their best stretches this year with a blowout victory Wednesday night over the Down East Wood Ducks. For the third time this year the Woodpeckers are winners of five straight, downing the Wood Ducks 8-2 to take control of the three-game tilt. Luis Garcia tossed a gem, going six innings and setting a franchise record with 13 strikeouts in his phenomenal outing. The Fayetteville offense backed up their starting hurler with two homers from Scott Manea and Scott Schreiber combined with a four-run bottom of the eighth inning.
Luis Garcia (5-4) started his stellar day on the mound by pitching a scoreless first frame, allowing for the Woodpeckers offense to take the lead in the bottom of the inning. Reid Anderson (6-7) struck out Jeremy Pena right away, but then Ross Adolph knocked a single followed by a walk from Corey Julks to put two on for Fayetteville. Chandler Taylor sliced his 32nd RBI of the year on a base hit to right field to make it 1-0 Woodpeckers. Fayetteville loaded the bases with two outs after Scott Manea drew a base on balls, but the Anderson limited the damage by forcing a groundout from Emanuel Valdez to keep it a one run lead for the Woodpeckers.
Garcia allowed two baserunners in the second, Diospel Arias on a triple and Sherten Apostel on a walk, but neither came home. It was not until the third that Down East finally notched a run against the Woodpeckers starting hurler. With already two strikeouts in the frame, Wood Ducks' catcher Sam Huff stepped to the plate and smoked a solo shot over the wall in left field. Garcia would fan Curtis Terry to end the inning, but Huff tied the game up at one a piece with one crack of the bat. The Woodpeckers regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth against Wood Ducks' starter Anderson. Enmanuel Valdez chopped a single into left center to put a base runner on for Fayetteville with two away. Scott Schreiber immediately dug in and crushed a two-run shot into left field. The homer was Schreiber's seventh of the year and made it 3-1 Woodpeckers after four innings of play.
On the mound for the Woodpeckers, Luis Garcia completely locked in after giving up the solo shot by retiring nine straight Down East batters. In that stretch Garcia sent down eight of nine hitters faced via the strike out. In fact, by fanning Sam Huff for the second out of the sixth, Garcia set a single game record by racking up thirteen total strikeouts against Down East. After that record was shattered, Curtis Terry laced a single to finally end the Down East hitting drought, but Garcia retired Yohel Pozo to finish out the gem on the mound.
The Woodpeckers looked to add some more insurance in the bottom of the sixth, up just two runs. Chandler Taylor and Michael Papierski went down in order, but then Scott Manea smashed his ninth homer of the year to make it 4-1 Woodpeckers. The Fayetteville slugger has notched 41 RBIs as well in the season with the Carolina League. The Woodpeckers made a pitching change heading into the top of the seventh, sending out righty JP France. Down East loaded the bases with one away, thanks to two singles from JP Martinez and Josh Altmann combined with a walk from Apostel. France did not get rattled, fanning Franklin Rollin to eliminate the sacrifice fly, then sent down Bubba Thompson to leave all three runners stranded. In the top of the eighth the Wood Ducks did score with France on the hill, as Yohel Pozo launched a solo shot over the wall in right field. The bomb was Pozo's eighth of the year and cut the Woodpeckers lead to two.
After going three up, three down in the bottom of seventh against Wood Ducks' new arm Jario Beras the Woodpeckers came out firing in the bottom of the eighth. Ross Adolph kicked things off by drawing a base on balls, moving to second on an E1 committed during an attempted pick off. Beras did retire Corey Julks, but then Chandler Taylor notched his second RBI of the game by smacking a line drive to right field that brought home Adolph. Michael Papierski and Scott Manea loaded the bases on back-to-back walks, officially driving Beras from the game. New Down East reliever Joe Kuzia immediately gave up a base hit to Valdez that scored two runs, both Taylor and Papierski. Scott Manea came home on an infield single from Scott Schreiber, making it three RBIs on the night for Schreiber. All in all, the Woodpeckers added four runs in the bottom of the eighth to solidify a 8-2 win over Down East.
The Woodpeckers move to 60-61 overall on the year and are now just 1.5 games behind the Wood Ducks for first place in the South Division. Fayetteville controls the series two games-to-none heading into tomorrow's series finale. Shawn Dubin is set to climb the hill for the Woodpeckers. First pitch from Segra Stadium is set for 7:00pm.
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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