MOREHEAD CITY—The Morehead City Marlins (13-21, 2-6) finally broke through against the Edenton Steamers (26-11, 6-4), needing a first of a kind effort from reliever Kurt Lipscomb along with some timely offense for an emotional victory on Saturday night at Big Rock Stadium. Lipscomb retired the first six batter's he faced, including striking out the side in the 9th inning for the Marlins first victory in eight chances over the first-half champion Steamers. One long-awaited and highly-coveted win at that.
"It was probably one of the best feelings I've had, especially in a while," Lipscomb said, improving his record to 1-1 on the season pitching as the closer for the first time ever during his collegiate career.
While the Faulkner product eventually earned the win, the Marlins provided some late pop on offense with a one-out sacrifice fly in the 8th inning from Eduardo Castro (Missouri State) scoring Dominick Cammarata (Tennessee) on a bang-bang play at the plate. Castro, who started in just his 10th game of the season, felt the emotions of one dramatic victory heading into the CPL All-Star Weekend in Florence, S.C.
"I was locked in, wanting to win this game and put that ball in play to score a run," Castro explained . "It meant a lot to get that (game-winning) run in and it was a great feeling."
The Marlins were in position to win the ball game thanks to a solid start from Jose Rendon (Sterling College), who pitched 5.1 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out three. The Sterling College product kept Edenton off balance all night in his first outing with the Marlins setting the stage for Dean Loucka (Felician), who retired the side in the 6th inning as the Steamers led 2-1. But the Marlins would respond immediately as Eduardo Castro scored the game-tying run in the bottom of the frame on a wild pitch from reliever Ryan Askew.
On a night where the Steamers actually out-hit the Marlins, 6-5, MHC executed when the game was on the line while the Steamers stranded 11 runners on base. They even left the bases loaded in three straight innings, resulting in just one run against the Marlins' bullpen. CPL All-Star Luke Bolka entered in relief for the 7th inning retiring the first two batter's he faced before a two-out rally inserted fellow All-Star Zach Reid to induce a crucial bases-loaded groundout from Tony Rosselli.
Before the drama unfolded, Diamond Dig Night was pushed back to a delayed 9:02 p.m. start after severe thunderstorms rolled through Morehead City before first pitch. After waiting a full 24 hours following what should've been his first outing, a rained-out game Friday night against Petersburg, Rendon retired the first seven batter's he faced before allowing a solo homerun from Stefan Van Horn, who has now mashed three shots against the Marlins this season. All three of the Marlins runs came in unconventional fashion including the first run of the game, as Justin Weigle (Ouachita Baptist) scored on a past ball with two outs in the 5th inning.
"That's huge for us," said Jason Wood. "It seems like every night we do one thing well or not (necessarily) the other, but tonight we did everything well."
Matt Collins (Texas A&M) recorded his team-leading 10th multi-hit game of the season featuring a two-out double in the 5th inning right after the Marlins tied things up on the past ball from Jake Cousins. Dean Loucka has now pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief since joining the Marlins, while the defense turned a double play for the third-straight contest. After being outscored 76-21 over their first six meetings against Edenton, the Marlins held the Steamers to a series-low two runs.
The Marlins enter the CPL All-Star Weekend with Luke Bolka (ECU), Stephen Wallace (Mt. Olive) and Zach Reid (Tennessee) representing the East Division in the 2015 All-Star Game on Monday night. Wallace, the CPL co-leader in home runs (10), will also be taking part in the Home Run Derby during the All-Star Fan Fest on Sunday night. 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 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.com and follow us via Twitter @CPLBaseball.
Written By: Evan Budrovich, Director of Broadcasting