Marlins fall to Sharks, 2-1

WILMINGTON, N.C. - Buck Mosteller opened the game with six perfect innings and the Morehead City Marlins could not make up enough ground against the Wilmington Sharks' bullpen, falling 2-1 at Buck Hardee Field on Thursday night.

Making his second start for Wilmington (5-5), Mosteller (W, 1-1) dominated the Marlins (7-6) through the game's first six innings, setting down each of Morehead City's first 18 batters before Joe Sclafani worked a walk to open the top of the seventh.

The Wilmington offense produced a pair of runs in the bottom of the first against Morehead City starter Brent Powers (L, 0-2). Powers retired the first two Shark hitters but then allowed back-to-back singles and three straight walks. Each of the last two free passes forced home a run, putting Wilmington ahead, 2-0.

Powers scattered just three hits and a walk over the final five innings of his outing, striking out 11 Shark batters in the process. He became the third Marlin starter to record a double-digit strikeout total in a game this season.

Morehead City's best offensive chance came in the seventh inning, as Luke Smierciak's sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out and chased Mosteller from the game.

Zach Borenstein then sent the first pitch thrown by Wilmington reliever Zach Taylor into center field for a base hit. The RBI single scored Sclafani and moved Carter to third, cutting the Morehead City deficit in half. Taylor then induced a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Brian Litwin to end the inning.

Morehead City then had the tying run on second base with two out in the top of the ninth, but Wilmington reliever Patrick Mincey got Borenstein to pop out to end the game and give Mincey his second save.

Sclafani and Smierciak joined the team on Wednesday and made their Morehead City debuts in Thursday's game. Justyn Carter stole his league-leading 14th base in the losing effort.

The Marlins return home to host the Fayetteville SwampDogs on Friday night. It will be Little League Night at Puck O'Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium, as any Little League player who wears their jersey will receive free admission to the ballpark. First pitch 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.