Columbia shuts out Marlins, 3-0

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Columbia Blowfish scored once in three separate innings and held the Morehead City Marlins without a run, defeating the Marlins 3-0 at Capital City Stadium on Tuesday night.

Morehead City (9-9) did not pick up a hit until the sixth inning and left a total of nine men on base. Though they notched five hits over the game's final four frames, the Marlins could not string together a rally against the Columbia (7-9) pitching staff.

Columbia starter Jake Zokan (W, 1-1), did not give up a hit until Zach Borenstein chased him from the game with a single in the sixth inning. But left-hander Chad Hodges replaced Zokan and immediately picked Borenstein off. Hodges then picked off Steve Marino in the next inning to keep the Marlins in check.

The Blowfish picked up the game's first run in the bottom of the fourth when Brison Celek scored on a wild pitch thrown by Morehead City starter Rob Kumbatovic (L, 0-2). Columbia had a chance to take a bigger lead in the inning, but the Marlin defense gunned down two runners on the basepaths to keep the score 1-0. In all, Morehead City fielders threw out a total of six Blowfish baserunners over the course of the game.

Columbia tacked on a run in each of the sixth and seventh innings as Shawn Glover and Nick Orvin each delivered run-scoring doubles. Orvin was thrown out trying to extend his hit into a triple, but DeMontez Jones came across to score on the play to put the Blowfish ahead, 3-0.

Jeff Guthridge entered in the bottom of the eighth and retired the side in order to keep the Marlins close. The right-hander's submarine delivery has helped him hold batters to just an .077 batting average over his eight appearances.

But Columbia's Derrick Smith got out of a bases-leaded jam with a strikeout of Matt Ciraco and then worked a scoreless ninth to pick up the save. Chris Schaeffer joined the team earlier in the day and made his Morehead City debut with a pinch-hit appearance in the bottom of the ninth, lining a ball directly to Celek to end the game.

After an off day on Wednesday, the Marlins will look to even the season series with the Fayetteville SwampDogs as the team travels westward for that contest on Thursday. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 and fans may listen to the game online using the CPL's WebPass service.

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.