Morehead City, N.C.- Apart of the journey is the end. The Morehead City Marlins (22-8) journey of a 14 game win streak came to an end on Friday night at the hands of the Holly Spring Salamanders (13-17) with a 4-3 final via a walk off from Liam Hicks (Arkansas State University).
The Salamanders scored first in the bottom of the second off an RBI single from Tyler Smith (Grand View University) and they doubled their lead off of a solo shot from Charlie Benson (Georgia Tech) in the fifth.
Both runs came off of Cole Cook (Bradley University), with only the second run being an earned run. Cook on the night gave his best performance of the season going 4.2 innings with six strikeouts.
And the offense had Cook's back in the top of the sixth with a lead of triple from Dusty Baker (East Carolina University) who scored a batter later with Colby Johnson's sixth RBI sac fly of the summer. Later in the inning, Hunter Shepard slapped a one out single to center that scored Jack Harris (San Francisco State University) and tie the game up at 2.
Fast forward to the top of the seventh and the Marlins offense was back at it. This time it was a sac fly from Harris that scored Baker from third and have the Marlins the 3-2 advantage. That was followed by an RBI triple from Daniel Little (University of Richmond) in the top of the eighth to make it a two run Marlins lead.
In the home half of the eighth, the Marlins brought out Cal Hehnke (Nebraska-Omaha University) who surrendered his first RBI of the summer off of a home run to center field off of the bat of Chris Crabtree (Duke).
In the same inning, the Salamanders brought in Will Hoyle (Duke) to pinch hit with a runner on third with two away. Hoyle hit a slow roller up the middle and Little fielded and the throw was seemingly in time for a big third out. Instead, the bang-bang play ended with Hoyle being called safe and the runner scoring from third to tie the game up.
And to cap off the momentum swing, Hicks came up in the bottom of the ninth and sent his fourth home run of the summer over the left field wall for the walk off.
With the Marlins falling 5-4, the team falls to 0-3 at Ting Stadium and the loss marks just the third time that they had the lead in a game after seven and lost (15-3 in those scenarios).
The Marlins are back at home on Saturday night against another East Division foe, the Fayetteville SwampDogs, with first pitch sent for 7:05 p.m.