Zebulon, NC - The Fayetteville Woodpeckers (33-40, 2-6) recorded four extra base hits as a team, but were unable to push across the tying run late as the Carolina Mudcats (38-36, 4-4) hung on for a 4-3 win Saturday night at Five County Stadium. Carolina has now won each of
Zebulon, NC - The Fayetteville Woodpeckers (33-40, 2-6) recorded four extra base hits as a team, but were unable to push across the tying run late as the Carolina Mudcats (38-36, 4-4) hung on for a 4-3 win Saturday night at Five County Stadium. Carolina has now won each of the past three games and clinched the series victory.
Fayetteville struck first in the top of the second inning on one big swing. Logan Cerny squared up a fastball from Mudcats starter Fernando Olguin and launched a long home run over everything in left field to give the Woodpeckers a 1-0 edge. It was Cerny’s team-leading 12th homer of 2022, the fourth-most in the Carolina League.
Carolina answered the following inning against Fayetteville’s Nic Swanson. With a 3-0 count, leadoff hitter Hendry Mendez ripped a solo home run to right to tie up the ballgame. It was the lone mistake of an effective night on the mound for Swanson, who went five innings allowing just one run on four hits and a walk while fanning five.
Swanson turned the ball over to Shea Barry (L, 0-3) in the bottom of the sixth inning. After retiring the first batter he faced, Barry surrendered a solo shot to Jackson Chourio that pushed the Mudcats in front, 2-1. Later on in the frame, Oswal Leones lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Jean Carmona and double the Carolina lead.
In the top of the seventh, Joey Loperfido led off with a single against Mudcats reliever Edwin Jimenez (W, 2-3). The next batter was Justin Williams, who doubled down the left field line to score Loperfido and bring the Woodpeckers within one. After Fayetteville was unable to do further damage, Carolina orchestrated a double steal in the bottom half which led to Luis Silva crossing home to push the lead back up to two.
Rainier Rivas led off the eighth with a hustle double and advanced to third on a flyout. Moments later, Cody Orr sent another fly ball to center that was deep enough for Rivas to score and cut the deficit back to one.
Barry put together a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to set the stage for the Woodpeckers heart of the lineup. But Jimenez came up clutch for the Mudcats and struck out Loperfido, Williams, and Cerny in order to close out the ballgame and earn his second victory of the season.
The two teams will conclude the series Sunday night in Zebulon before Fayetteville heads home for a six-game series against the Down East Wood Ducks. The Woodpeckers will start RHP Carlos Calderon while Carolina will try to make it five out of six with RHP Carlos Rodriguez on the bump. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 ET.
FULL BOX SCORE: https://www.milb.com/gameday/669924/final/box