Marlins hold off first-place Pilots in 6-3 victory

Marlins hold off first-place Pilots in 6-3 victory

Hampton, Va. - - - The Morehead City Marlins lefty pitching combination of Anthony Veneziano (Coastal Carolina) and Octavio Mirabal (King University) struck out 13 total batters en route to a crucial 6-3 victory over the host Peninsula Pilots from War Memorial Stadium Saturday evening. The Marlins handed Peninsula just its second loss of the season after the Pilots had won seven of their first eight contests.

Morehead City improves to 3-6 overall, while Peninsula falls to 8-2. The Marlins return home to the friendly confines of Puck O'Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium tomorrow night, hosting the Fayetteville SwampDogs in a divisional showdown. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. with the play-by-play action being called on the CPL Web Pass. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:55 p.m. 

MHC right-fielder Joe Mason (Wingate) topped the Marlins offensive charts, finishing 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a pair of RBIs, including his second home run in two nights. Shortstop Chandler Corley (Armstrong State) also posted a 2-for-5 effort with one run scored. First baseman Derek Olenchuk (Newberry) went 1-for-4, while third baseman Daulton Weeks (USC Aiken) was 1-for-3 with both contributing a RBI in the contest. 

For Peninsula, center fielder Kieton Rivers (Coastal Carolina) led the Pilots batting order going 2-for-4 with a run scored, while first baseman Matt Schneider (Mercyhurst) finished 1-for-3 with a RBI and one run scored. His Mercyhurst teammate Drew Delsignore went 1-for-4 with a run driven in. 

The Marlins got on the board first with Mason and Ware scoring on an error by the second baseman to grab the early 2-0 advantage in the top of the first inning. The two scores were followed by a RBI double by Weeks to make it a 3-0 Marlins lead in the opening frame. 

The MHC offense continued to produce in the top of the second with a two-run shot from Mason to extend the Marlins advantage out to 5-0. Morehead City added one more score on an error by the left fielder to score Corley and make it a 6-0 ballgame. 

Peninsula answered with a solo home run from Schneider to cut the deficit down to 6-1 in the home half of the second inning. 

Neither team would score for the next three innings until the Pilots responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to trim the margin down to 6-3. Rivers plated the first run after an error by the first baseman before a RBI single from Delsignore cut the lead in half. 

The Morehead City defense silenced the Peninsula bats for the final three frames and held on for the three-run road triumph. Veneziano went 5.1 innings allowing two earned runs on four hits with six strikeouts. Mirabel struck out a game-high seven batters over 3.1 innings in relief with one hit and no runs allowed. 

Veneziano got the win, improving his record to 1-0. Pilots right-handed pitcher Nick Spadafino (Delaware) took the loss, falling to 0-1. Mirabal picked-up his second save of the season after an outstanding scoreless effort on the mound. 

The Morehead City Marlins commence a brief two-game homestand tomorrow night hosting Fayetteville for a 7:05 p.m. start on Faith and Family Night at Big Rock Stadium. MHC then host the Holly Springs Salamanders Monday evening at the same time before hitting the road for two consecutive games. 

About the CPL
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's premier summer collegiate baseball league. Celebrating its 21st season in 2017, the CPL features 15 teams playing in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The CPL has had nearly 1,300 alumni drafted and 95 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.