MOREHEAD CITY—Homeruns were on grand display and Harper Grier (Lander University) took care of the rest as the Marlins held on to win their first game of the second half, 5-3, over the Florence RedWolves on Sunday night at Big Rock Stadium.
Dominick Cammarata launched his sixth home run of the season in the 1st inning giving the Marlins an early 4-1 lead, one they would never relinquish against the pesky RedWolves. The University of Tennessee product has now crushed five home runs in a span of 10 calendar days, finishing the night 2-4 at the dish.
"Dom is obviously on fire right now. He is hitting everything that moves," said head coach Jason Wood following the Marlins' first win of the CPL Second Half.
The Marlins (12-18, 1-3) added on to their lead following the 10th homerun of the year from Stephen Wallace, a towering shot to left making it 5-2. Wallace (Mt. Olive) is now tied for the CPL lead in home runs accounting for a team-high 22 RBI's on the season for the legitimate No. 4 threat in the lineup. In fact, the combination of Wallace and Cammarata have belted eight home runs over the last seven games.
"The guy just doesn't miss pitches in his zone," said Wood. "If he (Wallace) gets anything out over the plate man, he just doesn't miss. I always joke that he is a machine."
Andrew Burnick (Pennsylvania) set the tone early pitching four innings allowing three runs (one earned) while striking out six. Returning back from injury, Luke Watts (Appalachian State) pitched for the first time since June 4th going one inning of scoreless relief. That gave the Marlins an early lead heading into the middle innings, setting the stage for Harper Grier. The Lander University product pitched brilliantly, limiting the RedWolves to just one hit over the final 3.2 innings.
"I came in trying to prove something and I was thankful for the opportunity," Grier said.
Grier inherited the game from Daniel McCrary (North Georgia), facing runners at 1st and 2nd with one out, those players being the would-be tying runs. "It was huge because that's not a bad team." said Cammarata. "For him (Grier) to have a outing like that gave us a real spark."
While the Marlins won their first game of the second half, it didn't come easy. The RedWolves (16-16, 1-4) forced the tying run to the plate in the 9th before Grier forced a game-ending 6-4-3 double play started by Justin Weigel (Ouachita Baptist), who made three outstanding defensive plays. The combination of both Weigel and brand-new player Aaron Wilson (Hartford) gave the Marlins a reliable middle-infield tandem that ended up turning two double plays, along with nifty outs in the win forcing the RedWolves into stranding 11 runners on the night.
"You have to have that (great defense)," said Wood. "I like the way Aaron (Wilson) plays the game out there…Weigel was outstanding at shortstop and he really has some range. If our middle infield continues to play well, we have a shot."
Following the win, the Marlins enter a daunting week with back-to-back games against the Edenton Steamers starting Monday night along with a Thursday night contest at Peninsula. For more information on your Morehead City Marlins, continue to explore our website www.mhcmarlins.com, follow our social media accounts on Twitter @mhcmarlins, Instagram @mhcmarlins along with our new Snapchat account @mhcmarlins and make sure to like our Team 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.