Marlins down SwampDogs in home opener, 3-1

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. - On opening night at Puck O'Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium, the 2,146 Morehead City Marlins fans in attendance were rewarded with a 3-1 win over the Fayetteville SwampDogs Friday night.

Temple junior Ben White took the mound for Morehead City (3-0) and delivered the team’s third quality start in as many outings, allowing just one run over six strong innings of work. Fayetteville (1-2) plated a run on a Chris Wychock sacrifice fly in the second inning, but White cruised for the next four innings of his start.

The only other time that White found himself in trouble was the seventh, when he put the first two runners on base before being replaced by Josh Herzenberg. After a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one down in the inning, Herzenberg retired the next two batters in order to preserve what was at the time a one-run Marlin lead.

Morehead City built that advantage in the home half of the third, as Preston Shuey came to the plate with Justyn Carter on second and Brian Inghram on first. After a double steal moved both runners up ninety feet, Shuey lined a single through the right side, scoring both Carter and Inghram to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead

The game’s only other run came in the bottom of the seventh, when Trey Such swung and missed at a Matthew Milroy offering. The ball got past Fayetteville catcher Josh Powell and rolled to the backstop, allowing Such to reach and Carter to scamper home for the game’s final run.
The Marlin bullpen extended its dominant performance over the game’s final two innings, as Chris Roman worked both the eighth and ninth to earn the save in his first appearance of the Coastal Plain League season. Roman struck out the side in the ninth inning, getting Ethan Strickland to swing and miss to clinch the victory.

Dating back to Wednesday’s game at Outer Banks, the Morehead City bullpen has yet to allow a single run in seven combined innings. In all, the Marlins have only yielded seven runs in their season-opening three-game winning streak.

That streak will be put to the test tomorrow night as the Asheboro Copperheads visit ‘The Rock’ for the middle game of this three-game weekend homestand. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.