Steamers hand Marlins first loss, 4-3

EDENTON, N.C. – The Morehead City Marlins led by two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning but could not hold on, losing 4-3 to the Edenton Steamers at Historic Hicks Field on Tuesday night.

With Morehead City (5-1) leading 3-1 in the top of the eighth inning, Josh Herzenberg (L, 0-1) relieved starter Joel Sanchez and gave up a run-scoring groundout to cut the Marlin lead to a single run.

Chris Roman then replaced Herzenberg and induced a slow roller up the third base line off the bat of Peter Barrows. But Shawn Lovette’s throw to first ended up in the dirt and got away from Preston Shuey, allowing two more runs to score and put Edenton (1-3) up for good, 4-3.

Mark Montgomery entered in the top of the ninth inning and struck out the side to earn the save. Before he came on, Chris Bassitt (W, 1-0) worked a scoreless eighth to record the victory.
Morehead City scored first in the top half of the third inning after Shawn Lovette and Justyn Carter executed a successful double steal to put runners on second and third. Then with two down in the inning, Preston Shuey flared a single into shallow center field which drove in both runners and gave Morehead City an early 2-0 lead. The hit now gives Shuey a team-high eight RBIs on the season.

The Steamers responded in the bottom half of the third. Brian Billigen drove in Edenton’s first run with an RBI groundout and moved another runner up to third, but Sanchez escaped the inning without further damage.

Morehead City then added to its lead in the top of the fifth. With runners on first and third, Edenton caught Inghram in a rundown. Inghram then managed to extend the play long enough to allow Carter to score from third, putting the Marlins ahead by a count of 3-1.

Sanchez went on to work through the next two innings without giving up another run. The Hialeah, Fla. native yielded just four hits over the seven innings of his outing, notching his second quality start in as many summer-league appearances.

The Marlins’ remarkable stolen-base streak ended when Brian Inghram was caught attempting to steal second base in the fifth, but the team’s total of 24-for-25 still leads the Coastal Plain League by a wide margin.

Morehead City is off tomorrow before returning home to square off with the Thomasville Hi-Toms on Thursday night. Right-hander Brad McAllister (1-0) is scheduled to throw the Marlins’ first pitch at 7:05.

The Morehead City Marlins are the newest member of the Coastal Plain League. The Coastal Plain League is the nation’s hottest collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 14th season, the Coastal Plain League features 15 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The CPL gives players the chance to refine their skills with the use of wooden bats. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts.