Morehead City, N.C. – There was no shortage of excitement at Big Rock Stadium on Tuesday night as the Marlins came away with a 1-0 victory in a pitcher’s duel against the Wilmington Sharks in Morehead City, NC.
The Marlins picked up the only run they would need in the home half of the eighth inning. Zach Arnold (Kentucky) led off the inning with a laser double down the left field line. Following the Arnold double, Marlins head coach Jamie Sheetz pinch hit Cole Billingsley for Brad Haynal hoping Billingsley would be able to move Arnold over to third. However, it wasn’t as easy as the Marlins had hoped as Billingsley fouled off the first two attempts and gambled with a sacrifice bunt with a 1-2 count in the at bat. The strategy paid off as Billingsley got the bunt down, moving Arnold over to third with just one out in the inning.
Arnold came home on a wild pitch out of the left arm of Nick Altobella that went into the dirt and traveled into the backstop. Despite being called safe, Losby made an excellent hustling effort to get the ball and it was a very close play at the plate. Luckily for the Marlins the tag was a little high on Arnold’s waist and the Marlins took the 1-0 lead.
Billingsley came on to shut the door on the Sharks with a scoreless ninth, earning his first save of the season. Kyle Weary was credited with the win for the Marlins with a scoreless eighth and improved to 2-1 on the season. Calvin Rayburn was terrific, tossing seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and struck out three, while walking just one. Hunter Smith suffered his third loss of the season, allowing one run on three hits over 2 1/3 innings on the bump. The Marlins improve to 7-3 on the second half and 19-19 overall, while the Sharks fall to 4-5 on the second half and 18-18 overall.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 17th season in 2013, the CPL features 14 teams playing North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The CPL gives college 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. Furthermore, the CPL has had over 1,000 alumni drafted and 57 alums - including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander - make their Major League debut thus far. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook (at www.facebook.com/coastalplainleague) and follow us via Twitter (as CPLBaseball).