Marlins hammer HiToms behind McAllister's gem

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. - The Morehead City Marlins’ offense matched its season-high scoring total against the Thomasville HiToms on Thursday night. Those nine runs were plenty for starting pitcher Brad McAllister, who struck out 10 batters to help the Marlins cruise to a 9-1 victory at Puck O’Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium.

Making his second start for Morehead City (6-1), McAllister (W, 2-0) gave up a leadoff single to Rob Froio in the top of the first. But after catcher Trey Such threw out Froio attempting to steal second, McAllister retired fourteen of the next fifteen hitters en route to his second consecutive complete-game effort.

He struck out six in that span and went on to fan 10 HiToms (2-5) in all. Over the 18 innings of his two starts, he has racked up 18 strikeouts and yielded just one walk.

Thomasville did not get a runner past first base until Matt Dillon doubled to left with one out in the top of the ninth. Though Froio later scored on a passed ball to deny McAllister’s shutout bid, he rebounded to retire the side and clinch his two-hitter.

Morehead City gave McAllister more than enough run support in the early innings off of HiTom starter Kyle Barbeck (L, 1-1). Preston Shuey opened the night’s scoring with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third, and then Brian Litwin singled home the eventual game-winning run later in that inning.

The Marlins went on to pile up three more runs in their half of the fourth, led by newcomer Zach Borenstein’s two-run double down the left field line. Borenstein joined the team earlier in the day and reached base four times in his Morehead City debut.

Leading 5-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth, Morehead City blew the game open with four runs in that frame, capped by a line-drive RBI single off the bat of Such. In piling up their nine runs, the Marlins stole six bases and drew a remarkable 11 walks, extending their league leads in both of those categories.

The Marlins begin a weekend of South Division action when they travel to Fayetteville to take on the Swampdogs tomorrow. The team will then return to Morehead City to host the Columbia Blowfish in a doubleheader on Saturday, in which there will be a team notepad giveaway.  Time Warner Cable will also be on hand for Time Warner Cable Night.

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.