FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.—The Morehead City Marlins (20-28, 9-13) pieced together a valiant rally, but could not fully overcome a 5-run third inning for the Fayetteville SwampDogs in a 7-5 loss on Wednesday night at J.P. Riddle Stadium.
The Marlins jumped out to an early 2-0 lead as Chase Stafford (Oral Roberts) delivered his first home run of the season, kickstarting a 2-3 night at the plate with two runs scored. Ryan Sapp (Lenoir-Rhyne) posted his first start of the season with an impressive 1-2-3 first inning. The SwampDogs would then rally for five runs in the 3rd inning, thanks in large part to consecutive leadoff walks. Sapp lasted just 2.1 innings allowing five runs on four hits, walking five while striking out one batter looking.
Daniel McCrary (North Georgia) entered first out of the bullpen limiting the SwampDogs to one run on three hits, setting the stage for Keller Bradford (ULM), who pitched three scoreless innings of work. The damage was limited early thanks in large part to Eduardo Castro (Missouri State) who caught two runners stealing in the game, improving on his impressive 75-percent clip on the season. Castro would also add a base hit during in the 2nd inning, finishing 1-3 on the night at the plate.
The Marlins would rally in the 8th inning ignited by a leadoff single from Stafford, who eventually came to score the third run of the night as Logan Sherer (UNC Charlotte) reached on an error. Trailing 6-2 entering the frame, both Logan Sherer and Dominick Cammarata (Tennessee) scored on wild pitches from the SwampDogs bullpen cutting the lead to just one, 6-5. The Marlins would then strand the tying run at third with consecutive strikeouts. Unfortunately, Fayetteville would break an impressive 12-inning scoreless streak against LHP Zach Reid (Tennessee) as Austin Upshaw recorded his fifth hit of the night, an RBI single into left field during the 8th inning, making it 7-5 in favor of the SwampDogs.
Thanks to a one-out single from Justin Weigle (Ouachita Baptist) the Marlins advanced Stafford over to second sending the winning run to the plate, but were unable to mount any further rally, dropping to 2-5 on the season against Fayetteville. The Marlins next matchup against the SwampDogs will take place on Monday night at Big Rock Stadium, the final home game of the regular season.
Following the loss, the Marlins return home Thursday night for a crucial double header against the Petersburg Generals starting at 6:05 p.m. from Big Rock Stadium. 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 MHC Marlins 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.