Kannapolis, NC – After a rain out on Wednesday night at Atrium Health Ballpark, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers (54-69, 24-33) played a pair of seven-inning games against the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (62-60, 27-30) on Thursday. Fayetteville took home the opener with a 3-2 extra innings victory before Kannapolis responded with a
Kannapolis, NC – After a rain out on Wednesday night at Atrium Health Ballpark, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers (54-69, 24-33) played a pair of seven-inning games against the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (62-60, 27-30) on Thursday. Fayetteville took home the opener with a 3-2 extra innings victory before Kannapolis responded with a 2-1 walk-off win in the second contest. With the split, the Woodpeckers maintain a 2-1 lead in the series.
Jose Fleury got the start for Fayetteville and continued to pile up the strikeouts on his 2023 season, fanning six Cannon Ballers over four innings of work. He allowed a pair of runs in his final frame on the hill, but the Woodpeckers responded with two of their own in the sixth. Brice Matthews brought home Leosdany Molina on a fielder’s choice before he came all the way in from first on a Garret Guillemette RBI double.
With the score 2-2, reliever Alimber Santa (W, 3-9) was in trouble in the bottom of the seventh as Kannapolis had the bases loaded with one out and the winning run at third. However, Santa snagged a hard-hit ground ball back to the mound and fired to second to start a 1-4-3 double play to get the game into extras.
In the top of the eighth, Pascanel Ferreras began the inning on second and moved up to third on a Dauri Lorenzo groundout. Moments later, Molina hit a slow roller to third and Ferreras hustled home to score the go-ahead run. Santa returned for the bottom half of the inning and got another timely double play ball to end the ballgame.
Fayetteville once again got a strong start, this time from Andrew Taylor. The former Astros second round pick tossed four innings of one-run ball and, like Fleury, struck out six. Like the first game, the Woodpeckers fell behind early, but Ferreras looped an RBI single into left to tie the score at one in the fifth.
The game remained all square going into the bottom of the ninth. Jose Guedez (L, 1-3) allowed a walk then a single with one out to put two on for the Cannon Ballers. A Guedez balk moved both runners up and Drake Logan ripped an RBI single up the middle to give Kannapolis the walk-off win.
The back half of Fayetteville’s final road series of 2023 begins on Friday with RHP Amilcar Chirinos on the hill for the Woodpeckers. Meanwhile, the Cannon Ballers give the ball to RHP Tanner McDougal. First pitch is at 7:00 ET.
BOX SCORE: https://www.milb.com/gameday/727825/final/box