Trio of solo home runs push Woodpeckers past RiverDogs 3-2
Fayetteville, NC - The Fayetteville Woodpeckers received all their offense from solo home runs on Tuesday night at Segra Stadium. The final one, from third baseman Jackson Loftin, was the difference in a 3-2 win over the Charleston RiverDogs in the series-opener. The RiverDogs will need to win out in order to reach the 70-win mark for the third-consecutive season.
The Woodpeckers (26-35, 56-71) opened the game with a bang. On the fourth pitch tossed by Jonny Cuevas, leadoff hitter Cam Fisher blasted a long home run to left center to give Fayetteville a 1-0 lead right out of the gate.
In the top of the third inning, the RiverDogs (38-22, 65-61) used a couple of free passes to pull even. Ethan Pecko began the inning by walking Raudelis Martinez and also walked Carlos Colmenarez to put two on with two outs for Cooper Kinney. The player with the most hits in the Carolina League struck again, lining an RBI single to center to tie the game 1-1.
One inning later, Charleston wrestled the lead away. Ryan Spikes waited back on a Plecko breaking ball to line a leadoff single into left field. He quickly stole second base to move into scoring position. Jhon Diaz lined out to deep right field, allowing Spikes to tag and race to third. As he was doing so, the relay throw from shortstop Brice Matthews sailed into the RiverDogs dugout for an error that scored the runner.
Reliever Jake Christianson retired the first four batters that he faced in relief of Cuevas before Fisher struck again. This time, the outfielder blasted a game-tying solo home run over the right field wall to even the score at 2-2. The home run was his second of the night and third with Fayetteville.
In the bottom of the seventh, Loftin hammered the first pitch of the frame over the left field wall to put the Woodpeckers in front 3-2. The round-tripper was his ninth of the season.
The RiverDogs put two on base in both the eighth and ninth innings but could not score. Brayden Taylor foul tipped strike three into the catcher’s mitt with runners on second and third base to end the game.
Cuevas allowed one run on three hits in 3.0 innings of work. Christianson took the loss after surrendering two runs in 4.0 innings. The right-hander struck out six. Gerlin Rosario worked a scoreless eighth, stranding two in scoring position.
Kinney produced three of the RiverDogs four hits on the night. Fayetteville used three extra-base hits from Cam Fisher and two knocks from Luis Encarnacion to double Charleston in the hit column.
The RiverDogs will aim to even the series on Wednesday night in game two. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. RHP Trevor Martin (9-5, 3.60) will toe the rubber for the RiverDogs against Fayetteville RHP Jose Guedez (1-3, 3.66).
2023 playoff tickets are on sale now, along with season tickets, Dog-E Coin plans, and group tickets, including options to the Segra Club at Riley Park via //riverdogs.com/tickets. The Segra Club is also open for events year-round. Visit segraclub.com for more information. The brand new RiverDogs Food Truck is available for your next event! Contact the RiverDogs front office at 843-577-3647 (DOGS) for more information.
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