A strong outing from left-hander Chris Good and a couple of clutch two out hits made the difference on Saturday as the Marlins improved to 8-2 in the second half with an 8-2 win over the Sharks in Wilmington.
Chris Good battled through 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits in his fifth start of the season. It was a tremendous rebound start for Good, who entering the game had gone just 5.2 innings and allowed 13 runs on 18 hits.
"He attacked early in the count," said Marlins' head coach Sam Carel. "One of the most important pitches he threw was to the first batter of the game. He got behind 3-0 and was able to get a flyout. He established that fastball and settled in."
In road starts this season, Good has been phenomenal. He now has combined for 18.1 innings away from Big Rock Stadium and has surrendered five runs—only four of them earned—for a 1.96 ERA.
The only runs he gave up in this contest came on an RBI single from Shawn Sanders in the third inning, and a run-scoring single from Nate Moorehouse in the fifth.
The Sharks were threatening for more against Good in the sixth inning, when he allowed a couple base runners before being lifted with one out. Logan Hershenow, who has been so dominant in high leverage situations, allowed a single to load the bases, but then rolled up a 4-6-3 double play to end the frame and preserve the one-run lead for Morehead City.
"That was absolutely the biggest play of the game," Carel said.
Hershenow, who leads the team in innings pitched with 30, now has a 1.80 ERA, which is best on the team among pitchers with 20 innings or more. In his last eight innings he has only allowed five hits and has not allowed a run.
"Its hard to put it into words how valuable he is," Carel said. "I saw him do it for two years at Jefferson College with us, and his value speaks for itself."
Morehead City's runs support for Good was a little bit late, but it did arrive. It was a 3-2 ballgame when the Belhaven southpaw departed in the sixth, but by the end of the top of the seventh the score was 8-2 Marlins.
"It was huge, with two outs and nobody on to be able to plate five runs was huge," Carel said. "We stayed aggressive all game long, and it was nice to see."
Graham finished the day 3-for-4 with a couple runs scored, Britt had two hits, two RBI, a walk and a stolen base, and Johnny Caputo was 2-for-5 with two RBI.
The Marlins will take an 8-2 second half record into the All-Star Break, which will feature the Home Run Derby and 16th annual All-Star game at Big Rock Stadium in Morehead City.
"It's a great honor to host the game," Carel said. And it feels good as an organization hosting it in first place. I'm looking forward to a tremendous break, and we are ready to get after it again on Tuesday."
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