The Houston Astros single-A minor league baseball team is ready to get its 2024 season underway!


FAYETTEVILLE—Get ready, baseball fans. Minor league baseball season is upon us!


The Fayetteville Woodpeckers will play their 2024 season home opener on Tuesday, April 9 at Segra Stadium. Game time is 6 p.m., but arrive early to avoid the long lines and last-minute parking woes.


The home opener is the first in a six-game homestand against the Charleston RiverDogs. Watch the game, enjoy some ballpark food and drink, and then stay after the game to watch the post-game fireworks!


This is the Woodpeckers’ fifth year playing in Fayetteville and the second under manager Ricky Rivera. Speaking at a recent media day, the Puerto Rico native described his team as extremely young but expects to compete for a Carolina League championship this season.


“Every new year brings a new challenge,” Rivera said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun to see these guys grow and do it in front of the fans.”


Woodpeckers Warming Up


For anyone who doesn’t closely follow baseball, low-A minor league teams like the Woodpeckers usually field players straight out of high school or college. They’ll play in the minors, hopefully working up the ranks to eventually reach the majors.  


Those who do are often rewarded with multimillion-dollar contracts and a new way of life. It’s every young ball player’s dream to play in the MLB. Just ask Ethan Pecko.


The 6’2” right-handed pitcher from Towson University is now in his second year with the Woodpeckers and is scheduled to start opening night. It’s an improbable dream come true for a small-town kid from Pennsylvania.


Last year, he was playing college summer ball in Wisconsin when he learned the Houston Astros had drafted him. Pecko quickly arrived in Fayetteville to join the Woodpeckers near the end of the season.


Woodpeckers Filming Commercial


He played less than a month, so technically, Pecko is still considered a rookie. He believes getting in a full pre-season this year helped him get the starting nod for Tuesday’s game.


“I feel any of these guys that got drafted last year could’ve been the opening day starter,” Pecko said. “They chose me, which is nice, and it’s definitely an honor, so I’m pretty excited overall.”


He’ll need to brace for a long season. The Woodpeckers will play over 130 games this year, 66 of which will be at home.


The team’s fifth anniversary is cause for celebration and will include several promotional and theme nights this season. The scheduled promotions include bobblehead nights, food and drink specials, and special-themed jerseys the players will wear, but will also be available for fan purchase.


Andrew Champman, the Woodpeckers' broadcasting media relations manager, has the enviable job of calling every Woodpecker game in person. Like everyone else, he can’t wait for the season to get underway.  


“We’re really excited to have the fans back in the building,” he said, “and to get the long year going—132 games total from start to finish!”


So, get ready to watch your hometown Woodpeckers, everyone. The Boys of Summer are Back!