Morehead City, N.C. - - - Morehead City Marlins starting left-handed pitcher Heath Mitchem (Catawba) went 7 1/3 innings with only two earned runs allowed on seven hits in an exciting 5-4 Marlins victory over the Holly Springs Salamanders from Puck O'Neal Field at Big Rock Stadium Monday evening. MHC received a terrific all-around effort from the offense and defense combined en route to the Marlins' third consecutive triumph.
Morehead City improves to 5-6 overall, while Holly Springs falls to 3-9. The Marlins return to action tomorrow night when they travel to Holly Springs to face the Salamanders from the North Main Athletic Complex. First pitch is slated for a 7:05 p.m. start.
Marlins first baseman Nick Podkul (Notre Dame) topped the host offensive charts finishing 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored in his MHC debut. Podkul drilled a solo home run in his first at bat of the summer with the Marlins.
MHC designated hitter Derek Olenchuk (Newberry) supported Podkul's efforts with a 1-for-3 performance at the plate with two RBIs. Left fielder Jackson Ware (Mercer) and third baseman Chandler Corley (Armstrong State) each went 1-for-4 with a run scored, while Ware drove in a run.
For Holly Springs, second baseman Josh Hollander (Kent State) led the Salamander bats finishing 3-for-4 with one run scored. Left fielder Dalton Hoiles (Shippensburg) was 1-for-4 with two RBIs, while catcher Peyton Isaacson (Coastal Carolina) posted a 2-for-4 effort at the plate.
A solo shot from Podkul gave the Marlins an early 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the second inning. Podkul's bomb was followed by a crucial four-run third inning for Morehead City to extend the lead out to 5-0.
The frame began with an RBI single from Ware to make it a 2-0 contest before Podkul ripped a RBI double to push the margin out to 3-0. Olenchuk scorched a two-RBI single up the middle to plate two additional runs and make it 5-0 Marlins. Morehead City would not score another run for the remainder of the game.
Holly Springs trimmed the margin down to 5-1 on a RBI groundout by Hoiles in the top frame of the sixth inning. The Salamanders attempted the comeback trail with three consecutive runs in the top of the eighth and ninth innings to cut the deficit down to 5-4.
A RBI double by Hoiles made it 5-2 in the eighth followed by shortstop Tripp Shelton (UNC Greensboro) scoring on a wild pitch and a RBI double by center fielder Cory Wood (Coastal Carolina) to cut the lead down to 5-4. However, Marlins lefty Octavio Mirabal (King University) recorded the swinging strikeout with the bases loaded to seal the thrilling one-run victory.
Mitchem got the win on the mound, improving to 1-1. Holly Springs starting lefty Ryan Ross (East Carolina) took the loss, falling to 1-1. Mirabal earned his eighth save of the season. Salamanders reliever Nick Biancalana (Air Force) posted three innings of scoreless relief with no hits allowed.
Following the Marlins quick two-game road trip to Holly Springs (June 13) and Wilmington (June 14), Morehead City returns home to the friendly confines of Big Rock Stadium, hosting the Wilmington Sharks for a 7:05 p.m. start. Listen to the play-by-play action on the CPL Web Pass with live updates via Twitter (@MHCMarlins).
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.