MOREHEAD CITY N.C. - Chris Schaeffer’s second-inning home run sparked an 11-run outburst from the Morehead City Marlins’ offense, as the Marlins cruised past the Wilmington Sharks, 11-2, at Puck O’Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium on Monday night.
Schaeffer came to the plate with runners on second and third in the second inning and smashed a Buck Mosteller (L, 1-3) fastball over the left field fence to give Morehead City (12-10) an early 3-0 lead. Schaeffer added an RBI infield single in the next inning, finishing 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four driven in.
That run support proved to be plenty for the Marlin pitching staff, led by starter Ben White (2-1). Coming off of his first loss of the season, White retired the first nine Wilmington (12-11) batters he faced. The right-hander gave up just two runs – one earned – on three hits, striking out seven over his seven innings of work.
Morehead City added to its lead with three runs in each of the third and fifth innings. Luke Smierciak doubled home Steve Marino in the third, while the Marlins scored three runs without a hit in the fifth, benefiting from two Wilmington errors in the inning. The Sharks committed five errors over the course of the game.
Zach Borenstein gave Morehead City even more insurance with a two-run double off the left field fence in the bottom of the eighth. He also walked twice and scored a pair of runs in the contest. Joe Sclafani collected a three-hit night, recording a double and two singles to go along with a run scored.
D.J. Jauss worked the game’s final two innings in relief of White, pitching himself out of trouble on both occasions. He induced a double play to get out of a first-and-third situation in the eighth and struck out the side with a runner on third in the ninth to clinch the game.
The win pushes Morehead City ahead of Wilmington by a half-game for second place in the South Division. Both teams continue to trail the Florence RedWolves as the season’s first half enters its final week.
After taking Tuesday off, the Marlins return to action Wednesday night at The Rock on Chamber Night, honoring the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce. Joel Sanchez is scheduled to throw Morehead City’s 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.