FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (DEWDS) - Luis Garcia was sensational on the mound for Fayetteville, striking out a career-high 13 Wood Ducks batters, as the Woodpeckers take a two games to none series lead, with an 8-2 win, Wednesday.
Down East (30-21, 80-41) slips to 5-7 in the month of August, while the pitching staff has allowed 12 home runs over that stretch.
Fayetteville (29-23, 60-61) got on the board in the first inning. Ross Adolf reached on an infield single, and then moved to second on a wild pitch. Corey Julks then walked, and Chandler Taylor followed with an RBI single through the right side, to score Adolf, and make it, 1-0. Reid Anderson (loss, 6-7) would go on to strand the bases loaded in the inning.
Sam Huff evened the score in the third inning with a line drive solo homer to left field. His 13th Wood Ducks home run and 28th this season, made it a 1-1 game.
The Woodpeckers would answer quickly. After Anderson had set down nine in a row, Enmanuel Valdez reached on a single, and then Scott Schreiber followed with a two run home run to left, to put Fayetteville ahead, 3-1.
The Woodpeckers added a home run from Scott Manea in the sixth to make it a 4-1 lead.
Anderson worked six innings, giving up four runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out six. He has now lost two straight starts.
Meanwhile, Garcia (win, 5-4) was dominant. He gave up just three hits and a walk, with the lone run coming on the Huff homer. The 13 strikeouts are the most in the Carolina League this season. At one point, Garcia struck out eight of nine batters he faced.
Yohel Pozo made it a two run game in the eighth inning with his eighth home run of the season, a two run opposite shot off of J.P. France. However, the Woodpeckers collected some valuable insurance. Jairo Beras loaded the bases after giving up an RBI single to Taylor, which made it 5-2. Joe Kuzia then entered and gave up a two run single to Valdez, followed by an RBI infield hit from Schreiber, to push Fayetteville ahead, 8-2. The Woodpeckers sent ten men to the plate in the inning.
The Wood Ducks look to salvage the finale against the Woodpeckers, Thursday, when right-hander Scott Engler (3-0, 1.69) makes his first start of the season. Fayetteville will counter with right-hander Shawn Dubin (3-4, 4.87). First pitch is set for 7 p.m., and the pregame show will begin at 6:50 p.m., on 960AM The Bull, and online at 960thebull.com, as well as on the MiLB First Pitch, and TuneIn Radio Apps.