MOREHEAD CITY, N.C.—The thunder and lightning came rolling in, the lights turned out in the closing moments, and the Marlins somehow found a way to split the second game of a doubleheader, 4-2, on Friday night at Big Rock Stadium. The Marlins dropped the first contest, 3-2, as the Generals scored two runs in the 7th inning against closer Zach Reid (3-2), who blew his first save chance of the season.
The second game was even more hectic as Hayden Jones (2-1) (Oklahoma) pitched a complete-game shutout featuring two separate delays. Jones worked through tough and rugged conditions in the second game, going seven innings of work allowing four hits while striking out five in what ended up being an elongated final inning.
As the Marlins (10-14) were leading 4-1, one strike away from ending the game in the 7th inning, the lights turned off right at 11:30 p.m., extending the game even deeper into an already long night. Jones warmed up for the third time and walked the ensuing batter, nearly 20 minutes later, making it 4-2. Still facing the bases loaded, Jones forced a game-ending flyout as the madness finally concluded.
"I was already used to cooling down and throwing again," Jones said. "But it feels great to get warm, get used to it (throwing) again, using my rubber arm to get going and save our bullpen because we have a long stretch of games coming up."
During the first delay, a 43-minute stoppage due to nearby lightning, the Marlins were trailing 1-0 in the third inning. Strangely enough, Mitch Spires launched a two-out RBI double right as a rather monstrous lightning bolt was visible in the centerfield skyline. But the Marlins responded immediately as Matt Collins (Texas A&M) recorded his second triple of the night, which eventually stretched out a second run across following an error getting the ball from the outfield.
Leading 2-1 at that point, Luke Bolka (ECU) delivered a ground-rule double followed by an RBI sacrifice fly from Stephen Wallace (Mt. Olive), extending his team-high total to 19 RBI's on the season. Dominick Cammarata (Tennessee) then provided some breathing room for starting pitcher Jones, launching his second home run of the season in the bottom of the 6th inning during a 1-2 night at the plate.
The Marlins were just one out away from taking both games of the doubleheader but Lance Stancil delivered a two-RBI single against Zach Reid with two outs making it 3-2 in favor of the Generals. With just one out on in the frame, Reid hit the next batter, allowed another base hit before giving up the game-winning knock in the 7th inning. Andrew Burnick (Penn) got the start going six innings allowing one run on three hits. The Marlins are now 1-1 against the Generals this season and will next meet their East-Division rival in Petersburg, Virginia on Friday, July 10th.
Following the doubleheader split, the Marlins remain here at Big Rock Stadium for Scout Night against the Wilson Tobs. All boys and girls wearing their Scout Uniforms will enter the ballpark for free with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST. For more information on the Marlins, make sure to follow us on twitter @mhcmarlins and like our Morehead City Marlins page on Facebook.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's hottest summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 19th season in 2015, the CPL features 15 teams playing in 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. The CPL has had over 1,200 alumni drafted and 79 of those – including 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander – make their Major League debut; while another notable alum - Russell Wilson - won Super Bowl XLVIII. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.comand follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.