KINSTON, NC – The Fayetteville Woodpeckers (45-54) connected for 14 hits and led wire-to-wire on Thursday night in a convincing 10-3 victory over the Down East Wood Ducks (58-41) at Grainger Stadium.
Michael Sandle continued his hot stretch, homering in a fourth straight game while Joey Loperfido enjoyed a career milestone.
Fayetteville never trailed and took an early lead in the top of the first against Nick Lockart (L, 1-1). The Down East starter hit Jordan Brewer with a pitch, Justin Williams singled, and Quincy Hamilton drew a walk to load the bases. With Sandle at the plate, Lockart committed a balk that allowed Brewer to score for a 1-0 lead.
Hamilton later drove in Williams with a single in the fourth to push it to 2-0. Facing Nick Yoder in the fifth, Joey Loperfido drove a solo home-run over the right field wall to pad the lead at 3-0. The homer was the first of Loperfido’s career in just his fourth game with Fayetteville.
Elian Rodriguez pitched four scoreless innings and struck out a season-high seven before turning the game over to Cesar Gomez (W, 2-7) in the fifth.
The game was pushed out of reach with a four-run sixth inning. Will Wagner doubled home a run, Miguel Palma connected for a two-run double of his own, and Kobe Kato ran it up to 7-0 with an RBI single.
In the seventh, Sandle belted a two-run home run off Theo McDowell for a 9-1 advantage, his fourth home run across the last four games.
Gomez pitched through the seventh and Ray Gaither closed the night with two scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
The series continues on Friday at Grainger Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 7 pm ET.