Marlins defeat Florence for third straight win

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. – Chris Schaeffer’s two-run single and solid bullpen work helped push the Morehead City Marlins past the Florence RedWolves, 6-3, in a game halted by a two-hour rain delay on Wednesday night at Puck O’Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium.

Rain began to fall as the bottom of the sixth inning began. Chad Oberacker led off the frame for Morehead City (13-10) with a double into the right field corner. After Florence (14-7) starter Spencer Jordan (L, 3-1) hit Steve Marino with a pitch, Zach Borenstein reached on an error and Oberacker scored on the play to tie the score at two.

Before Luke Smierciak could hit, the rain intensified and play was stopped for more than two hours. Once play resumed, Smierciak walked and Schaeffer followed with a two-run single to right-center off of Kit Carter. The base hit put Morehead City up for good, 4-2. Schaeffer now has 10 runs batted in over his first six games as a Marlin.

The Marlins tacked on another run in the inning as Preston Shuey reached on a fielder’s choice and Smierciak scored from third. Marino rounded out the scoring for Morehead City in the seventh with an RBI double into the gap in left-center that scored Oberacker from first.

The RedWolves scored in the top of the first inning off of Marlin starter Joel Sanchez (W, 1-1), as Corey Tilton drove in two runs with a single up the middle. But Sanchez settled into a groove after that, working six innings before the rain delay. The right-hander gave up just those two runs – one earned – while striking out a pair en route to his first win as a Marlin.

Three Morehead City relievers combined to preserve the victory. Shawn Armstrong relieved Sanchez and worked a scoreless seventh inning, Jeff Guthridge gave up an unearned run in the eighth and Thomas Girdwood yielded two walks but no runs in the ninth to record the save.

The win – Morehead City’s third straight – evened the season series at 2-2 and pulled the Marlins to within two games of Florence in the South Division standings. Morehead City has five games remaining in the first half while Florence has seven.

Thursday, these same two teams will meet for a doubleheader in Florence. Each game is scheduled for seven innings, with game one set to begin at 6:00.

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.