Marlins and Blowfish split doubleheader

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. – Justyn Carter’s walk-off three-run blast gave the Morehead City Marlins an extra-inning, 7-4 win over the Columbia Blowfish in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader at Puck O’Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium. But Morehead City could not capitalize on Ben White’s phenomenal pitching performance as the Blowfish bounced back to win game two, 6-2 in 11 innings.

In the bottom of game one’s eighth with runners on second and third and nobody out, Carter crushed an Andy Podolinski fastball off the top of the left field fence and over the wall for the first home run in Morehead City (7-3) team history.

Shawn Armstrong started the first game for Morehead City and worked the first six innings, giving up two earned runs while striking out four. Josh Herzenberg came in to replace Armstrong in the seventh and worked two scoreless innings to pick up the win for the Marlins.

In the top of the eighth, Herzenberg forced Columbia (4-4) shortstop Dadynoel Lorenzo to ground into an inning-ending double play to keep the score tied at that point.

After a half-hour break between games, Carter began game two in almost the same way as he ended game one, with a solo shot to left-center off of Blowfish starter Chase Pickering. In all, Carter reached base in six of his eight trips between the two games, scoring four runs and stealing four bases in the process.

White started the second game for Morehead City and mowed down batter after batter over his eight innings of work. The right-hander from Temple University struck out 15 Blowfish, easily eclipsing Brad McAllister’s 10-K performance against Thomasville on Thursday night.

But the Marlins could not take advantage of White’s dominance, and the game entered extra innings with the score tied at two. In the bottom of the tenth, Morehead City had the bases loaded with one down but could not get the winning run home, as Colin Parker grounded into an inning-ending double play.

In the top of the next inning, Columbia’s Branfy Arias hit a bases-clearing triple to right-center to put the Blowfish up by a count of 5-2. Arias eventually came in to score and then pitched the bottom half of the frame to clinch the game.

Sunday night, the Marlins host the Fayetteville SwampDogs in another South Division matchup on Time Warner Cable’s ‘Super Duper Sunday’. First pitch from The Rock is set for 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.