ZEBULON — Nic Swanson put together arguably the best start of his minor league career Thursday night at Five County Stadium as the Fayetteville Woodpeckers (22-32) took down the Carolina Mudcats (30-22), 6-2.
Fayetteville has now won three in a row after falling in extra innings to open the series on Tuesday.
Swanson (W, 2-2) went six innings, allowing just one run and five hits over that span. He walked just one batter and struck out five in what was his first career quality start and the longest outing of his career. The righthander now has a 2.68 ERA on the season and 49 strikeouts over 43.2 innings pitched.
The Woodpeckers’ offense had another impressive performance on the road, finishing with 12 hits. After Fayetteville fell behind 1-0 in the second on a Jesus Parra RBI single, Dauri Lorenzo tied the game in the fourth on a base hit of his own.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Woodpeckers got to Mudcats reliever Tyler Wehrle and loaded the bases with one out. Sandro Gaston then singled up the middle to give his team the 2-1 lead. The next batter was Leosdany Molina, who drove in two more with a base hit before a sacrifice fly from Yamal Encarnacion closed out the four-run frame.
Fayetteville added another in the top of the ninth thanks to an RBI single from Ricardo Balogh. In the bottom half, Carolina made some noise and brought in a run with a Hedbert Perez base hit. Elvis Garcia was chased from the ballgame one out shy of recording the three-inning save, but Ian Foggo came on and got the final out by striking out Luke Adams to secure the victory.
Friday night marks the fifth of seven games between the two clubs this week and the Woodpeckers look to pick up the series win. Left-hander Trey Dombroski gets the ball for Fayetteville while the Mudcats try to stop their losing skid with right-hander Patricio Aquino on the hill.
The first pitch is at 7 p.m.
Box score: https://www.milb.com/gameday/728326